Although the Community Health Center Alumni Association allows us to look back on and celebrate the past, we really have our eyes on the future. Ultimately, this initiative is about putting our collective heads and hearts together to come up with solutions for health-care issues that are facing America today.
We need to make sure we are around for another 50 years, but we not only need to survive, we need to thrive, and we need for the health-care system as a whole to thrive.
There are lessons in the blood, sweat and tears that have brought us to where we are. It took bringing together the collective power, intelligence, talent, humanity and compassion of a wide variety of people to arrive at where we are – the best quality care at the lowest cost. To put it simply, community health centers offer the right care at the right cost at right place. But it was not easy getting here.
The continued and remarkable growth of community health centers has been accomplished through the political support from the state and local level and from both political parties. The centers have had the strong support of every president since Lyndon Johnson. People and government entities found a way to come together for a common good – to meet challenges that faced our country. We have done it in the past, and we believe that we can still do it today.
The experience of community health centers offers hope for the future of health care. Let’s pull the health-care community together again to speak with one loud and clear voice to address new health-care challenges in the United States:
- How can we continue to take care of people by doing more with less?
- How do we provide low-cost, high-quality care within communities?
- How can we continue our commitment to all people but make sure to serve the baby-boom generation, as it ages, in innovative ways?
Community health centers have shown that we have the expertise and knowledge to help our country with solutions. CHCs have always prided ourselves on bringing different people together to solve problems. We know we can do this. Let’s get back to what has worked for our country and have others learn from our example.