Today, as never before, health centers like ours need to find their voice - and speak out to advocate not only for our own health center, but for all health centers across New York State, and throughout the United States. The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center (GHVFHC) provides care to over 18,000 people. The combined health centers of New York State provide care for over 1.4 million people. Across the country, health centers are the family doctor for over 20 million people nationwide. This is health care that would otherwise be unavailable, should we have to close our doors.
We don't wish to alarm you by saying this - but the possibilities of federal and state budget cuts to funding sources for health centers like ours are very real. These cuts would impact our ability to provide health services, as well as our ability to expand patient access to necessary care.
How You Can Help GHVFHC
By becoming an advocate for the health center, you join many others like you, and take an active role in the world of community health care. You empower yourself - to speak and act collectively. You help to not only maintain the health center's capacity to assist us all, but to create genuine and positive changes in health care.
There are three easy ways to help:
One: Enroll in the Grassroots Action Network (GAN) of the Community Health Center Association of New York State (CHCANYS.) This is an on-going campaign by CHCANYS to unite all health care advocates in New York. GAN keeps us informed by email of potential actions by elected officials that could have a detrimental effect on health centers, especially through cuts in funding. It also provides a means for CHCANYS to enlist your support by signing petitions, sending letters or making phone calls to elected officials.
After you type in your name and contact information, please be sure to select "Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center" from the "Health Center Affiliation" menu, and then check "Patient" or "Other Supporter." This is important! Doing this helps CHCANYS count the number of participants, from each of the sixty-seven community health centers across New York State!
Two: Sign two petitions: Stop in any time to sign The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center's 2012 Health Care Advocacy petition and click on the icon below to sign the National Community Health Center Association petition.
By signing both, you add your voice to countless others, calling on congress, the president, and state and local officials to protect health center operations; to increase future funding; and to oppose cuts in Medicaid that would affect health centers like ours.
Three: Send a form letter to elected officials [by clicking on the links shown below.] This is your chance to make your own voice heard loud and clear! Here are some tips on how to make your voice heard:
Community health centers do great work. Here are just a few examples of the quality care we provide at GHVFHC:
In Pediatrics, younger children receive the complete range of immunizations and at least one lead paint exposure test before they are two years old. And the majority of our adolescent patients receive an annual child well visit.
In OB/GYN, nearly all of female patients are referred for at least 1 mammogram every 2 years, and receive a least 1 Pap smear every 3 years.
In Internal Medicine, our adult patients with asthma are treated with modern therapies and diagnostic tests. Today, most of our patients with a history of hypertension have blood pressure within therapeutic range (less than 140/90) through medication, health education, and positive lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.
These services are not only important, they are cost-effective. In fact, studies have shown that on average the Medicaid cost for a typical health center patient is 30 percent less than for care given by other medical providers. Above all, patients can receive treatment in our Urgent Care Center for many of the problems that would otherwise cause them to go to a hospital emergency room - and on average pay as little as 14 percent of what the same treatment in an ER would cost.
The message is clear: health centers not only meet critical needs, but they do so with greater efficiency.
Written by njones