Today marks the start of National Health Center Week, which highlights the great impact of community health centers across the nation. Over the last 50 years, these health centers have provided invaluable preventive and primary care services to underserved populations–helping to reach vulnerable populations who may not otherwise have access to vital healthcare services. Through their extensive network of over 9,000 sites, community health centers provide care to approximately 24 million patients, including those who cannot pay or do not have health insurance.
We recognize the key role of community health centers in providing high quality healthcare to their communities in a way that is affordable and cost-effective. Through their culturally appropriate, linguistically supportive and community-focused programs, these centers provide essential services to young women affected by breast cancer and their families. From primary care to screening programs, community health centers serve as the “medical home” for many and ensure more young women diagnosed with breast cancer receive the ongoing cancer care and survivorship support they need.
Additionally, many patients rely on these centers for their regular health screenings. Whether it’s an annual check-up or a visit for a suspicious lump, the centers may be where a young woman discovers her cancer diagnosis. Primary care doctors often provide the first step in detection, referrals and appropriate follow-up care. Many community health centers also provide important ancillary programs like behavioral health services. We’re so appreciative of the support that community health centers offer underserved young women and their families as they enter the unfamiliar territory of a cancer diagnosis.
If you would like to utilize the services of a community health center in your area, you may find a location by entering your zip code. If you are uninsured, you can also find out about your health insurance options through the federal healthcare.gov website.
Learn more about the National Association of Community Health Centers’ advocacy work, research, programs and partnerships here.
Everyday we encourage you to be your own best health advocate. Take some time to learn about the reliable resources available to guide you in scheduling additional health screenings. It’s important to remember–especially for young women affected by breast cancer–that some screening recommendations may be specific to your health and family history. Ask your doctor what is right for you.
Below are additional medical care resources:
Secure Payment: Managing Your Health Insurance
Financial Assistance for those living with metastatic breast cancer
Long-term Survivorship information
Also encourage your loved ones to do the same by being in charge of their health! Everyone can benefit from health reminders and the comprehensive resources available.