Celebrate health centers this week

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Joe Lock, guest columnist

Eastern Iowa Health Center is marking National Health Center Week 2016 with community events and volunteerism as part of a weeklong campaign Aug. 7-13 to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers.

One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers started 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Today, they have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

• Reducing income and ethnic health disparities nationwide, even in the poorest and most challenged communities

• Reducing infant mortality rates

• Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings

• Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary emergency room visits

• Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent

Eastern Iowa Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center and Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home that provides service to more than 40,000 patient visits annually, specializing in OB/GYN, family medicine and pediatrics.

Your health center is committed to providing outstanding, accessible care to underserved populations in Eastern Iowa. We are proud of the work we do every day to care for our patients and the community. Our events during National Health Center Week are a great way to thank the community and recognize our staff for their tireless efforts.

Every day in our waiting room I witness the value of having a patient-centered health care home. When people have a place to go for regular care, they use it and stay healthier. Our patients not only receive the care they need, but they are treated as individuals, with dignity and respect. This is what health care should be, and what we celebrate this Week.

Health Centers in Iowa provide comprehensive health care services to all, regardless of insurance status. More than 184,000 Iowans receive care at Iowa’s 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers, including more than 60,000 children, more than 2,500 veterans, and more than 5,800 homeless adults and children.

Health centers provide services to tackle determinants of health including transportation, translation, legal, housing assistance and more. For more information and a complete list of Iowa’s Community Health Centers visit www.iowapca.org. For more information about Eastern Iowa Health Center visit www.easterniowahealthcenter.com.

• Joe Lock is President & CEO of Eastern Iowa Health Center. Comments: JLock@EIHC.co

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