Proclamation for National Health Center Week, 2022

Proclamation for National Health Center Week, 2022

More than half a century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson piloted a program to bring affordable primary health care to the Americans who needed it most. He helped establish community health centers in underserved areas, making medical services available to people regardless of their age, geographic location, or economic status. President Johnson’s philosophy was simple: in a “Great Society” no one is left behind. Today, this ideal lives on. Health centers provide quality medical, dental and behavioral health services to more than 30 million Americans each year, and they remain a cornerstone of our public health system. During National Health Center Week, we celebrate the vital role these health centers play in protecting the well-being of Americans and honor the heroic staff who keep these facilities running.

Health care is a right, not a privilege. Yet many people still struggle to get the medical services they need. Nearly 4 million Americans remain excluded from the Medicaid expansion, and millions more are struggling to afford prescription drugs, mental health services and screenings. Access to care is also often unequal, with black and brown Americans, rural residents, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and low-income families consistently reporting lower levels of coverage and less access to primary care. Federally funded health centers directly address these challenges by providing medical services—especially to communities of color, rural communities, and people living in poverty—through nearly 1,400 community-based organizations operating more than 14,000 service delivery sites. Given that clinics operate under a patient-majority governing board, health centers ensure that decisions are directly informed and made by those served.

Since taking office, my administration has strengthened our nation’s network of health centers. Last year, we invested $7.6 billion in America’s Rescue Plan funds to strengthen health center workforces, renovate facilities, and equip them with essential medical supplies for COVID-19. We also committed $400 million from America’s Rescue Plan to create a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AmeriCorps to train the next generation of public health workers, including in community health centers. We have prevented disease and treated disease for millions of Americans. We’ve helped pay the salaries of over 272,000 full-time health workers and support staff.

Health centers are central to many of my administration’s priorities. From reducing cancer deaths by providing equitable access to cancer screening and preventive care to helping Americans live healthier lives through new digital health technologies, we will ensure that health centers are equipped for the future of health care. I remain committed to working with Congress to double the size of the health center program, to put even more Americans to work in these centers across our country, and to ensure that every one of us has access to affordable health care.

During National Health Center Week, let’s recognize our health centers and staff for their outstanding contributions to communities across America. Let us thank them for their dedication, their service, and their commitment to a stronger, healthier, and more equitable health care system.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of August 7 through August 13, 2022, as National Day of Independence Week health center.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I do hereunto

fifth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.