Senator Burr to attend Ahoskie banquet

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AHOSKIE – Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC), the place “Where Access and Quality Care Begin” for people in our community – joins the rest of America’s more than 1200 Community Health Centers today in kicking off National Health Center Week 2009 (August 9-15).

The theme of the week, “Where Access and Quality Care Begin,” highlights health centers’ roles as “health care homes” for some 18 million people in America, providing primary and preventive care and a range of services. RCCHC serves 16,000 patients in our community each year – a number that is increasing due to layoffs and cutbacks during the economic downturn. Health center patients pay on an income-based sliding fee scale; no one is turned away, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

On Tuesday, August 11, RCCHC will celebrate National Community Health Center Week at a banquet to be held at the Ahoskie Inn. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Special guests include Pamela Byrnes with the National Association of Community Health Centers, Senator Richard Burr, Senator Ed Jones and the Honorable Annie Mobley. For more information, call Gail Miller at 209-0237.

“Everyone should have the choice of a Community Health Center as their health care home,” said Kim Schwartz, CEO of RCCHC. “We provide high-quality services that emphasize primary care and wellness so that families can stay healthy and out of hospitals. National Health Center Week is a time to spread the message that we need to invest in an accessible and affordable community health system that can reduce disparities, improve health and achieve cost savings.”

Events marking National Health Center Week 2009 include health fairs, media events and visits by local, state and national leaders to health centers in their communities. Two days are set aside to focus on special population: health Care for the Homeless Day will be observed on Wednesday, August 12 and Farmworker Health Day will be observed on Thursday, August 13.

The spotlight comes at a time when the American Recovery or Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or the federal economic stimulus bill, has made increased access to care possible. Community Health Centers are among the first recipients of stimulus funding: $338 million in so-called Increased Demand for Services grants will enable health centers to provide quality care to an additional 2.1 million patients for the next two years.

Long-term, health centers are envisioned as a major part of the solution for providing care to the 60 million people in the Unites States who are—according to a report by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) medically disenfranchised. A health center plan called ACCESS for all America has the goal of preserving, strengthening and expanding health centers, ultimately providing affordable, high quality care to all the medically underserved.

The nation’s network of more than 1200 Federally Qualified Health Centers serves more than 18 million people through 7,000 sites located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. For more information, visit and