National Health Center Week 2015 is just a few days away and we’re already getting pretty excited about the scores of events being posted on the NHCW events page (well over 1200 so far, according to the NACHC press release). But it would be wrong to look at the weeklong celebration (August 9th-15th) as a blur of events, because some of them are downright creative and special. Yes, there are health fairs, free health screenings, immunizations, visits by Members of Congress, breakfasts, “Meet and Greets,” and a multitude of Back to School events. But here’s an event one might not want to miss: Lowell Community Health Center is organizing a group hug! Yes, that is correct — a group hug, according to the Boston Globe. The public is invited to join patients, staff, and members of the community for a big hug on August 11th at 8 a.m. This promises to be the biggest hug Lowell, MA, has ever seen. Our hat is off to Lowell Community Health Center for organizing such a heart-warming event!
We should also note that there are specific days set aside during NHCW: Public Housing Health Centers Day (Tuesday, 8/11), Health Care for the Homeless Day (Wednesday, 8/12), and Farmworker Health Day (Thursday, 8/13).
Also, some of the NHCW celebrations are not really events at all, but reflections writ large that offer a perspective on the 50 year legacy of health centers. For instance, we like this blog post from the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, (NY, NY) which featured a Q & A with Chief Development Officer Regina Lee (and some pretty awesome vintage photos of the health center’s early days). Lee recalled her initial experiences with the health center back in the early 1970s:
“A group of people organized the Chinatown Health Fair in 1971. At that time, I was a college student and I had some free time, so I decided to volunteer. The health fair took place for 10 days, with the theme “Bring the Exam Room to the Community.” We set up booths on Mott Street and provided a variety of health screenings. I volunteered as a translator in the mobile van that did mammography. The health fair was very successful, about 2,500 people participated.”
And speaking of writing, there are a host of NHCW proclamations rolling in from state and local elected leaders — with more expected. There is a lot of news to be made next week during NHCW — but no spoiler alerts here. Stay tuned!