Health Center News and Happenings

April 25, 2017
Good ideas are happening in Nashville at My House. By My House we mean a collaboration project between Neighborhood Health, Nashville CARES and Street Works. Neighborhood Health is a Community Health Center that not only has provided excellent care for over 40 years, but they are also always trying to figure out better ways to deliver care. My House […]
April 1, 2017
Another great day at the NACHC 2017 Policy and Issues Forum. Today’s sessions were chock full of information. And did we mention the record attendance? It has been standing room only in the General Session, which today featured Forbes columnist and physician Carolyn McClanahan whose column this week about Community Health Centers was spot on! […]
The Campaign For America’s Health Centers

Blog - NACHC

April 28, 2017

Our most favorite time of the year is almost here – National Health Center Week is around the corner!! Have you started planning for National Health Center Week (NHCW) yet? This year’s celebration will be held August 13-19, and it will be here before you know it! This year’s theme is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: The Key to Healthier Communities.” We encourage Health Centers and Advocates to use the theme to help build your events and remember; it’s never too early to start planning your events and celebrations! To help with planning and to make sure you have all the resources you’ll need to host a successful event this year, the NACHC advocacy team has some exciting news and updates to share:

nhcw.jpgCheck out the New NHCW website: We recently launched a new and improved NHCW website! The web address is the same,, but advocates will notice a brand new look and feel. In addition, we have transitioned all the wonderful NHCW resources, tools, and templates to the new site- easily accessed with the click of a button! We also want to highlight a couple of features of the site we don’t want you to miss:

Annual NHCW kick-off webinar: This year, we will be hosting our annual NHCW kick-off webinar on Wednesday, May 10 at 3PM Eastern. Join the advocacy team and Health Center colleagues for information on event ideas, best practices for hosting successful events, how to find and leverage partners and sponsors, as well as where and how you can buy and customize NHCW swag. Click here to RSVP for the kick-off webinar (you’ll receive the login information in a separate email closer to the webinar date).

Photo & video contest webinar: This year we will once again host the annual NHCW Photo Contest – sponsored by Pfizer RxPathways, and Video Contest - sponsored by Athena Health. We encourage all Health Centers to participate and make contest submissions for a chance to win! Join us on Wednesday, July 19 at 3PM Eastern for a contest-specific webinar, where you’ll get information about when, where, and how to send us your photos and videos, a review of contest rules and guidelines, and hear from Health Center peers who will share their tips for winning submissions. Click here to RSVP for the contest webinar.

As always, the NACHC Advocacy Team is here to help with any questions or support you need as you begin planning for NHCW. If you are looking for NHCW tools or resources you don’t see on the website – send us an email, we’d love to work with you to get you the support you need! We are looking forward to working with each of you to put on another successful and record-breaking NHCW—happy planning!

If you have any questions about the new site, webinars, or tools and resources, please email

April 24, 2017

MK_UpdatedHeadshot.jpgThe NACHC advocacy team is excited to announce the Outstanding Advocate for April 2017­—Michelle Keller, Vice President of Community Engagement, Development & Outreach at Swope Health Services in Kansas City, Missouri.

Michelle has placed advocacy at the forefront of her agenda by serving as key advocate for Swope Health Services’ (SHS) representing the health centers interests in both the Kansas and Missouri state houses. With nine SHS sites located in two states, Michelle has been working twice as hard at advocating to both legislatures, where she has learned many impactful lessons to improve upon her advocacy on behalf of SHS and the Health Center movement.

As Advocates know, building relationships with your Members of Congress and other elected officials, and being involved in the legislative process, is an essential part of being an advocate. Despite being initially intimidated upon her entry into the world of politics and policy, Michelle hit the ground running and sought out advocacy training and support from NACHC to help build her skills and understanding of what it takes to be successful in this area.

Missouri's House of Representative in session

The Advocacy Leadership Program (ALP), in which Michelle participated, is a six-month course designed for those who serve as the advocacy coordinator for their organization. ALP participants learn from both their peers and NACHC staff about advocacy best practices, legal implications of advocacy, and are provided with a toolbox full of resources and support that they can draw from to bolster advocacy efforts back home. Michelle says of the ALP, It helped me understand how government works and how an advocate needs to function within those processes.”

Michelle took the lessons and strategies she learned from the ALP, and put them into practice when she returned home. One key experience she cites is her participation in a hearing about the expansion of KanCare (Medicaid). Among the many lessons learned from the experience, Michelle shared that having a clear and concise message and working collaboratively was crucial to making her voice heard. She also noted that participating in the legislative process in general is critical for advocacy success.

Michelle has participated in advocacy days at the state capitol with both the Missouri Primary Care Association and the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, numerous hearings, and the Mayor’s Day of Action on Healthcare in Wyandotte County (KS). Through her involvement with these activities, she has also been asked to participate in various panels and other discussions on healthcare.

MO Senator Kiki Curls (third from left) visits SHS.

To connect her work within the legislative process back to the work of SHS, she worked to bring elected officials to the Health Center to educate them on the FQHC model of care and showcase the services and value they provide to the community. To make sure all bases were covered, Michelle also organized an advocacy workshop for the SHS Board of Directors (another important group that can be powerful advocates for the Health Center with the right education and tools!).

Michelle works hard to ensure that SHS embraces a true culture of advocacy and engagement, and that advocates understand their role in and the importance of being part of the legislative process, because—whether it’s a discussion on changes to Medicaid at the state level, or Health Center funding at the federal level—SHS will be impacted in some way. Advocates can’t sit quietly on the sidelines while important decisions are made about them and their communities. That’s why Michelle feels so strongly about being an active and engaged advocate, especially when it comes to building relationships with elected officials. "The bottom line is: if I'm not there to tell them the SHS story, they can't help us."

We couldn’t agree more! A big thank you, Michelle, for all that you do to drive powerful, effective advocacy!


Do you know an Outstanding Advocate who deserves this recognition? Let us know! Email Elizabeth Kwasnik at

Health Centers on the Hill

April 28, 2017
Earlier this afternoon, both the House and Senate passed a one week extension of federal funding in order to avoid a shutdown and continue negotiations on the FY17 spending package. With a deal on the FY17 spending package in sight, leaders in both chambers of Capitol Hill passed the short-term extension earlier today to give […]
April 25, 2017
By: Oliver Spurgeon, Deputy Director, NACHC Federal Affairs The halls of Capitol Hill are buzzing this week as Congress returns from the two week Easter Recess, President Trump and Congressional Democrats continue negotiations to keep the federal government open beyond Friday, April 28, the Wicker-Stabenow Health Center funding letter closes, and House Republicans consider bringing […]
The Policy Shop

April 18, 2017
On April 13, 2017 CMS issued its final rule designed to make the ACA Marketplaces more appealing to insurers.  Under this final rule, starting for the 2018 plan year: The annual Open Enrollment Period will be shortened from 3 months to 6 weeks States will have full authority to determine if an insurer’s network has […]
March 20, 2017
Just after her Senate confirmation as Administrator of the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma joined HHS Secretary Tom Price in a letter to governors on their commitment to work together to improve the Medicaid program.   The letter states that the federal framework for Medicaid has not “kept pace with emerging evidence around the […]