Happy Health Center Week 2022
For decades, federally qualified community health centers (FQHCs) have been a driving force in bringing comprehensive health care to millions of patients in our country’s most underserved and under-resourced communities. We at Columbia Basin Health Association are proud of the legacy we’ve built as a hyper-local health equity hub, but we know there is much more to be done. In order to deliver on our vision of a health care system with equity at its core, FQHCs need our leaders in Congress to make historic investments in our infrastructure, workforce, and innovation efforts. Through our CHC Invest campaign, we are asking Congress to appropriate up to $13B in funding for FY23 and scale investments over the next seven years to reach a total of $30B by 2030.
FQHCs are the largest primary care provider network in the country, and in Washington, CBHA is ensuring over 37,000 patients have access to critical health care each year. Nationwide, health centers are bringing comprehensive care to nearly 29 million patients annually. More than 90% of these patients are living below 200% of the federal poverty line and nearly 70% are uninsured or receiving Medicaid.
Throughout the pandemic, FQHCs have administered more than 21 million vaccines and 19 million COVID tests—with CBHA providing over 27,000 vaccines to patients locally. A majority of our COVID services have been delivered to communities of color and uninsured or underinsured populations.
Our workforce—comprised of members of the very communities we serve—has stepped up to keep families healthy and address the complex and ever-growing needs of patients. That same workforce is suffering from burnout and the mental health impacts of being on the frontline throughout more than two years of unprecedented challenges to our health care system.
Columbia Basin Health Association is one of Washington State's premier federally qualified health centers and a trusted health partner. Serving patients throughout Adams County, and parts of Grant and Franklin Counties, our clinics continue to set a high-standard for comprehensive, inclusive medical care that puts patient well-being at the forefront of everything we do. From family health and routine check-ups to state-of-the-art treatments and therapies, Columbia Basin Health Association is there to ensure that our patients, our neighbors, and our communities have access to world-class healthcare, regardless of their circumstances.
We have a proven track record and have been dependable, consistent stewards of taxpayer dollars for generations. We not only deliver quality health care services to our community, but we also provide jobs for more than 400 employees. Nationally, health centers employ 250,000 people annually, spur local economies, and save the health care system $24 billion each year. Now, we need our leaders in Congress to stand up for us and provide the resources FQHCs desperately need, not just today, but for years to come. We hope that Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murry and Rep. Dan Newhouse will show their support for the health center program and take bold, visionary action now so we can continue our lifesaving work in Washington and across the country.