Advocates Step Up for America’s Health Centers

THANK YOU to the thousands of Health Center staff members, board members, clinicians, patients, volunteers, and supporters for calling their Members of Congress and the White House on June 30 to send the message: Do not undermine the successful Health Centers program as you negotiate Medicaid changes and cuts to the federal budget. The health and lives of our families and our neighbors should not be negotiated away. I am counting on your support for my Health Center.

The Health Centers Mobilization Call-In Day was the first step in the Campaign for America’s Health Centers. There is lot more we need to do to make our voice heard as Congress and President Obama negotiate Medicaid changes and the FY 2012 budget in the framework of reducing the federal deficit. We must continue to tell them that the decisions they make today will impact Health Centers and their patients for years to come. Here are some ways you can continue to fight for Health Centers. If WE don’t protect America’s Health Centers that care for 23 million people who rely on them today for quality, affordable health care, who will?

  1. Invite your Members of Congress to your Health Center or meet with them during the July recess. Talk to them about the critical importance of Medicaid for Health Centers and patients.  Click here for background information and message points from the National Association of Community Health Centers. Click here for Michigan-specific talking points.
  2. Attend Town Hall meetings hosted by your Members of Congress. Click here for tips on raising a question at a Town Hall meeting.
  3. Interact with your Members of Congress on Facebook and Twitter. Check out tweetcongress.org to see if your U.S. Representative and Senators are active on Twitter.
  4. Plan events for National Health Center Week and invite Members of Congress to attend. Discuss with them the critical need for continued support of the Health Centers program and the importance of Medicaid for Health Centers and their patients.
  5. Pass a board resolution supporting the Campaign for America’s Health Centers at your next board meeting.
  6. Engage patients by circulating the campaign petition in your Health Center’s waiting rooms and ask them to sign on or write their own letters to their Members of Congress.
  7. Engage local elected officials and other community organizations/businesses by circulating a sign-on letter of support or resolution to support your Health Center.
  8. Recruit as many new advocates as possible – staff members, board members, patients, community members – by asking them to join NACHC’s Grassroots Action Center.
  9. Send letters to the editor or opinion-editorials to your local newspapers.  Members of Congress and their staffs read letters to the editor and op-eds published in their districts’ newspapers as one way to stay in touch with their constituents’ viewpoints.
  10. Collect stories of patients who would be negatively impacted by cuts in Medicaid and the possible reduction of services at your Health Center as a result of major Medicaid cuts.

Let’s all continue what we started yesterday and Step Up for America’s Health Centers.

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