National Health Center Week (August 9-15, 2020) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
Community Health Centers, like HealthCore Clinic, serve as beacons of strength, service, and care in communities throughout our nation. In moments of pain and loss, they offer support and love. In moments of triumph, they offer hope and a vision for the future.
This week HealthCore stands together with Community Health Centers around the nation to celebrate the roles we have played in both our recent moments of loss and triumph.
This National Health Center Week honors those front line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of the crisis, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients.
Throughout our clinic, we enacted swiftly with large-scale safety measures for both patients and staff. We created a centralized PPE room, erected counter shields at all check-in desks, developed increased cleaning protocols, added screenings for all entering the building, launched telehealth services, and more.
Most notably, in partnership with Quest Diagnostics, Sedgwick County Health Department, Kansas Health Foundation, Sunflower Foundation, and Wichita State University, we offered COVID-19 testing completely free to the patient via our mobile clinic in the WSU Metroplex Parking Lot. As one of the first in the state to offer free, asymptomatic testing, we administered 1,723 tests over the course of 3 weeks in May. Testing then moved back to our main clinic in June via our respiratory clinic where we are still offering them today as well as the COVID-19 antibody test, both by appointment.
Thanks to these safety protocols and the amazing work of our healthcare providers, we have not had a single member of staff become infected with COVID-19 while treating patients. We have also successfully helped numerous patients with COVID-19 effectively self-quarantine while addressing their symptoms progressively with understanding and sincere care.
Unfortunately, thousands have lost their lives to this disease, many of whom we had deep personal relationships with. We have seen front-line responders and essential workers pay the ultimate sacrifice and witnessed innocent lives lost from this virus. We have lost friends, family members, loved ones, acquaintances, peers, and leaders. This disease affects each and every one of us, regardless of the color of our skin, the size of our bank account, or our political views. We are all in this together, and together, we will overcome.
During this week of remembrance, we ask that you light a candle for those community health leaders and patients that were lost across this great country of ours. As we commemorate those lives and celebrate the future of Community Health, let’s shine a light across Wichita, the state of Kansas, and the country that will embody the future of primary health care aces for underserved populations.
Each day of National Health Center Week 2020 is dedicated to a particular focus area:
Sunday, 8/9: Public Health in Housing Day
Monday, 8/10: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
Tuesday, 8/11: Agricultural Worker Health Day
Wednesday, 8/12: Patient Appreciation Day
Thursday, 8/13: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
Friday, 8/14: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
Saturday, 8/15: Children’s Health Day
Furthermore, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has declared this week to officially be “Community Care Clinic Week,” in the state of Kansas. It is our hope that this initiative, and initiatives like it around the nation, will help strengthen and grow the network of community care clinics.
Please help us shine a light on your Community Health Center providers and share the value they bring to everyone they serve.
As well, please help up reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask when out in public, washing your hands frequently, and practicing safe social distancing measures. If you, or someone you know, think they have been exposed to COVID-19, please self-quarantine immediately and contact us or your medical provider. If you are in an emergency, please call 9-1-1.