Monday kicked off National Health Center Week and to mark the occasion the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) had the privilege of hosting Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Region 1 Intergovernmental and External Affairs Regional Administrator Jeffrey Beard and other HRSA representatives on Tuesday.
The hosting of Beard and other HRSA representatives, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is part of EBNHC’s annual celebration of National Health Center Week. The week is dedicated to raising awareness of the mission and contributions of the nation’s health centers in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost-effective health care to the underserved.
“East Boston Neighborhood Health Center has always been on the front lines in service to their communities—they were there long beforeCOVID-19 and will continue to be there long after,” said Beard. “So today, we celebrate you for your hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. We recognize you for stepping up and stepping in when your communities need you the most. We honor you for being at the heart of what we stand for at HRSA. Thank you for all that you do to make our communities healthier.”
On Tuesday, Beard and the other Massachusetts-based HRSA regional leadership visited EBNHC’s Maverick Square and Gove Street locations to acknowledge the health center’s work and thank staff for their commitment. The visit provided an opportunity to strengthen existing relationships, create new connections, and identify additional areas for partnership and innovation.
“On behalf of HHS and Secretary Becerra, I would like to applaud the incredible work of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to ensure people in your community can access and receive vital primary care services, regardless of their financial situation,” said Region 1 HHS Regional Director Everett Handford. “East Boston Neighborhood Health Center is a beacon of strength, service, and quality care, especially in providing equitable care for medically underserved communities.”
During the visit, EBNHC and HRSA discussed timely care delivery topics such as maternal child and women’s health, behavioral health and COVID-19 response and recovery.
“At East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, we have been committed to providing high-quality innovative community-based health care for more than 50 years,” said President and CEO of EBNHC Greg Wilmot. “We are incredibly honored that HRSA has taken the time to recognize the critical contributions of our health center team in advancing health equity, in addition to reflecting on the vital role community health centers play across Massachusetts and the U.S.”
During National Health Center Week, HRSA highlighted that community health centers provide care to over 30 million patients, or 1 in 11 people in the United States. This includes 1 in 9 children and adolescents and 1 in 3 people living in poverty.
The number of health center patients has increased from 21.1 million patients in 2012 to 30.2 million patients in 2021. This increase illustrates health centers’ critical role in providing accessible, high-quality primary care to medically underserved patients during the past decade, and throughout COVID-19 response and recovery.