On October 2, 2019, I will begin my fourth month as President and CEO of Kennedy CHC. Although I was well aware of the mission and good works of community health centers across our nation, I never realized the full scope of their impact until I joined the Kennedy CHC team.
For the past three months, I have had the opportunity to meet with leaders in the community health center movement locally and around the country. Through programs hosted by the Mass League of Community Health Centers and the National Association of Community Health Centers, I have learned more extensively about the challenges facing our long term sustainability.
Each year we have to advocate in Washington, DC to insure community health centers receive level funding at best despite the fact that we serve over 29 million people a year in more than 11,000 rural and urban communities across the U.S.
In Massachusetts alone, over one-million people received care at a community health center in 2017.
Even more amazing is that through an economic lens, Massachusetts’ community health centers provide an economic impact of over $2.6 billion, supporting over 18,000 direct and indirect jobs (FTEs) throughout the Commonwealth.
With statistics like these, I struggle to understand why community-based health care continues to lag behind the rest of our medical delivery system in regard to reimbursement rates from private and public insurers, and that as an industry we are not fully recognized for the value we bring to the communities we serve.
If we really believe in health care as a right and not a privilege, then we all need to step up and advocate for a proven model that makes health care affordable and accessible to everyone. I hope we can continue to count on you to support our mission and find ways to insure our sustainability for years to come.
President and CEO
President and CEO