As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on the past year with profound appreciation for the many and varied collaborations with colleagues and partners. Our work through these partnerships and other activities continues to be inspired by the early founders of the community health center movement, by our dedicated leadership at the National Association of Community Health Centers, and by the everyday health center heroes whose bold vision, deep expertise, sincere commitment to equity and justice, and tireless work on the ground continue to make millions of people healthier.
Over the course of this year, the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, our signature collaboration with Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, continued its ongoing policy research program, focused on the effects on health centers and medically underserved communities of policy and health reforms at the national and state levels. Together, we released four new policy briefs, as well as several data insights and blogs. Our most recent report entitled, ‘How Could the Public Charge Proposed Rule Affect Community Health Centers?’ analyzes the potentially far-reaching spillover effects of the proposed public charge rule that could impact health center services and have profound consequences for the health of hundreds of thousands of patients.
Our funding to the Geiger Gibson program also helps support other publications, including research for the annual community health centers update produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), and a recent reportreleased by KFF on the continuing challenges facing community health centers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
Our partnerships extend beyond research to collaborative grant making, so that we can maximize the impact of our investments though meaningful collective engagement. Our year started with an important partnership spearheaded by the Hispanic Federation to support Puerto Rico’s health centers in the wake of the catastrophic storms. Through The Fund for New Citizens, a collaborative fund administered by the New York Community Trust, we have participated in two funding rounds providing grants to immigrant-led and immigrant-serving nonprofits in New York to help them build and strengthen organizational capacity and advance and advocate for the city’s diverse immigrant communities. And we traveled with CHC and PCA leaders to Canada, to meet, share best practices and collaborate with colleagues at the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres summit and conference.
These collaborations are extended through our ongoing, direct, impact-oriented grant making and technical assistance to community health centers and primary care associations across the country that help improve systems of care, test new care-management strategies and promote practical, high-value approaches to best meet the needs of the people they serve. You can read more about some of our current grantees HERE.
After this full and challenging year, as we look toward 2019, and despite political discord and continued uncertainty, we see reason for hope. That hope is embedded in our communities, and exemplified by the many thousands of dedicated health center heroes, all across the county, whose tireless commitment to providing the highest quality care and services to all brings many points of light in the shortest, and darkest, days of the season.
May we reflect that light, and may it continue to shine. On behalf of the RCHN Community Health Foundation staff and Board of Directors, we send our best wishes for a warm, healthy, bright holiday season and the work yet to come in 2019.
Feygele Jacobs, DrPH
President and CEO
RCHN CHF staff and colleagues, some captured moments from 2018.
Apply now for the 2019 Health Policy Fellows Program
The Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program is designed to help mid-level and senior health center, PCA, and HCCN staff develop a deeper understanding of health policy and advocacy. Through a series of web-based sessions, culminating in a three-day residential session in Washington, DC. , the Fellows Program provides rising leaders in the health center movement with an immersive experience in federal health policy, and assists participants in developing basic health policy analysis competencies so that they can engage effectively in advocacy. Program faculty include senior NACHC staff, faculty at Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington DC-based health policy experts, Geiger Gibson Distinguished Visitors, and congressional and agency staff. Apply for our 2019 cohorts: April 15-17, 2019 (apply NOW – limited spots remaining) or October 21-23, 2019 (applications due by March 15, 2018): publichealth.gwu.edu/projects/geiger-gibson-capstone
New Video: Welcome to CHroniCles
CHroniCles is an interactive multimedia website dedicated to the living history of the community health center movement. The site showcases hundreds of contributed narratives, photos, data, as well as timelines, maps, videos and other materials created especially for the site. CHC and PCA profiles are a centerpiece of the Chronicles site. Check out our new instructional video for a quick tour of CHroniCles, including how to access the site, update your organization’s profile, and add materials such historical records, brochures, and images and share your unique stories. This signature project documents and records the dynamic development, growth and reach of America’s health centers movement, and we look forward to adding your stories to the site.
To get involved, start, or update your profile, please contact Irene Bruce, Project Coordinator, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. H. Jack Geiger and Dr. Thomas J. Ward Jr., a featured photo from our new CHroniCles video.
In Case You Missed It: CHroniCles Beat Stories
Community health centers, the backbone of America’s safety net, served more than 350,000 veterans in 2017. We spoke with colleagues at the National Association of Community Health Centers, Zufall Health Center, Marshfield Clinic, and Yakima Neighborhood Health Services to learn more about how CHCs are serving veterans and why they are an essential access point for care. Read more CHroniCles Beat stories here.
Veterans Day 2018 at Zufall Health (Dover, NJ).
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