Dear Colleague,

Amanda Pears Kelly Headshot

Happy National Health Center Week from the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved! When I consider the impact that health centers create every year in the lives of over 30 million patients in underserved communities, every week is National Health Center Week. But the official week and the month of August still represent a crucial time to celebrate the incredible work that you all do caring for your communities and your patients every day.

Few years have posed more uncertainty for health centers, and funding cliffs still loom for vital programs such as the National Health Service Corps, teaching health centers, and more. Nevertheless, our community has continued to do astonishing work and persevere through unprecedented challenges. Since their origins in the Civil Rights Movement, CHCs have advanced compassionate, inclusive, and patient-centered care for those who need it most.

The results are clear. Not only are health centers continuing cornerstones of community-centered primary care for over 30 million people (90% of whom are at or below 200% of the poverty line) in the U.S., but they are also leading in patient satisfaction: as HRSA’s recent health center patient survey found, 97% of CHC patients would recommend their health center to family and friends.

That’s a tribute to the confidence you have built visit by visit and patient by patient. It’s a testament to the common mission that all health centers are working to achieve: to advance health equity for all. And it’s a reason during National Health Center Week to do what Jim Macrae, Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, called upon us all to do at our recent Conference in Washington, D.C.: to “tell the story of the magic that happens when you’re engaging with your patients.”

There’s so much more to be done, and so much more advocacy that we must continue to lead during the August recess—you can start by joining our ACU Advocacy Network to raise your voice for the National Health Service Corps and healthcare workforce! But we must also take a moment to celebrate the ongoing successes, improved health outcomes and strides in health equity we see every day because of CHCs. None of this would be possible without the health center workforce that makes CHC services and care a reality, and I want to especially honor Health Center Staff Appreciation Day this Friday, August 11.

Whether clinical, administrative, outreach-related, or otherwise, your role is critical, and so is your impact. From myself and from ACU, thank you for making access to quality care possible for all those in need. This week, and every week, we celebrate your work.


Amanda Pears Kelly
Executive Director
Association of Clinicians for the Underserved