One Community Health Seeks Advocates to Raise Awareness, Effect Change

Urgent Call for Support Timed to Coincide With National Health Center Week.

Hood River, Ore., Aug. 4, 2016 — It’s not every day that One Community Health (OCH) makes a public plea for support. But in light of National Health Center Week (August 7-13), the timing is spot on for the non-profit Health Care Center, with facilities both in Hood River and The Dalles, to provide insights into the history of America’s Health Centers, plus why advocates are needed to raise more awareness and effect change.

National Health Center week has been celebrated for more than 30 years to recognize the services and contributions of community, migrant, homeless and public-housing health centers. Among the countless reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers is the 50+ years of success they’ve had in providing access to affordable, high-quality, cost-effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States. For 30 years, One Community Health has been doing just that, considering it’s celebrating three decades of health care services and outreach to all members of its Columbia River Gorge community. While its very existence has been made possible through a variety of committed people and organizations, advocacy plays a critical role in its local success.

“There’s no doubt that advocates at the local level have significant influence on our politicians even though they reside part of the year in Washington D.C.,” says Dave Edwards, CEO of One Community Health. “We are the local constituents they care about, after all. And what’s interesting is that in an increasingly fractured political climate, Health Centers have historically received bi-partisan support, which says a lot about the power of advocates who have passionately and effectively raised their voices to create awareness and understanding around the vital mission and services of Health Centers.”

To help grow the numbers of local Health Center advocates, One Community Health is announcing a new online link (through the National Association of Health Centers), whereby people can sign up to help: http://p2a.co/o3fIsZd.

Meanwhile, more information about National Health Center Week and Health Centers in general can be found here: http://www.healthcenterweek.org/.

Every advocate matters. Representing the voices of the approximately 10,000 area patients, anyone who chooses to continue as or become an advocate will be contributing to a greater goal—to increase advocacy from 80,000 to 100,000 individuals—this year.

“This goal is ambitious but very important,” Edwards says. “And so what we are looking for is real people who live in our back yard and will let their voice be heard by communicating with our political representatives, particularly when legislation has the possibility of helping or hurting local communities. Advocates are also needed to help legislators prioritize budget decisions and understand the impact of securing funding for One Community Health and its services. Since the war on poverty started, National Health Centers and Head Start are the only two government-funded programs that have stood the test of time, not to mention many other challenges. Given Health Centers have been around for over 50 years, we’d like to see that success continue 50 years more. That takes the commitment of many people and, without a doubt, the energy, desire and fearless creativity of our advocates, both locally and around the nation.”

About One Community Health
One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center with locations in The Dalles and Hood River, Ore. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and, today, has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. Today, OCH provides services to over 10,000 patients. In addition, OCH excels in providing proactive educational programs and support that sustain its integrated approach to health and wellbeing. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. For more information, click here or visit: http://www.onecommunityhealth.org/.

Media Contact:
Katie Roberts
Communications Developer
One Community Health
(303) 709-2912
kroberts@onecommunityhealth.org

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