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Giving Days happening in May!

May is here, which means warmer weather is on its way, and school is almost out of session for summer break!  But it also marks the annual kickoff of a very important season of giving  – Nebraska’s Community Giving Days.  During specific days in the month, communities all around the state rally around hundreds of nonprofits to help raise money and awareness for their organizations.  The Giving Days is a 24-hour event where excitement and energy is generated around giving to local organizations.

However, choosing a nonprofit to give to can be intimidating.  Which one do you choose?  This year, we at HCAN would like for you to consider giving to any one of our Nebraska community health centers. In Nebraska, the community health centers served over 94,000 patients last year.  Nebraska’s community health centers ensure that all individuals have access to high-quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care, regardless of ability to pay.   Health centers are the safety net providers in the state, ensuring comprehensive, community-based, culturally appropriate healthcare in a compassionate and respectful environment.

Ninety percent of our patients are low income, and one out of every four uninsured individuals in our state receives care at a health center.  In fact, Nebraska has the second highest rate of uninsured patients across all health centers in the nation, with nearly 50% of our patients lacking health insurance.

When thinking of where you will be donating to this year, please consider giving a donation to any one of the community health centers in Nebraska.  Even the smallest gift can make a big difference to the patients we serve.  Your gift will directly help those vulnerable populations who would otherwise not have access to primary and preventative care.  For many patients, health centers may be the only source of health care services available in their community. You have a chance with your donation to make a powerful, yet critical difference in many lives.

During the month of May and the Giving Days to come, please take a moment to find your community’s Giving Day at http://www.nonprofitam.org/?page=GivingDays and choose one of Nebraska’ community health centers. Your donation is appreciated!

-Angela Lindstrom

Integrated Marketing Director

Health Center Association of Nebraska

NACHC Collecting Health Center Stories to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Health Centers Program

Starting early next year, Community Health Centers will celebrate 50 years as a vital movement in expanding access to care to millions of people nationwide. NACHC will host anchor events and a communications campaign with the goal of celebrating the people and achievements of the Health Center Movement and bringing attention to the value of Health Centers to the American healthcare system, particularly as the threat of the funding cliff draws nearer. For its communications efforts, NACHC is identifying Health Center stories that showcase the value of Health Centers and the immediate threats they face with cliff. Please send your stories and examples along with a brief description of a story as well as your and your center’s contact information, location, and state to NACHC’s communications team at asimmons@nachc.org and mballantyne@nachc.org.

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental illness affects one in four adults and one in ten children in America. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care. Furthermore, mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, start the conversation about mental health in your organization or community. Encourage your family, friends, loved ones and clients to learn more about improving mental health and illness.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Visit Mentalhealth.gov to get more information on mental health resources.
  • Pledge to increase awareness of mental illness and mental health promotion in diverse communities. Choose from a list of personal and/or community steps to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in your life and in your community. Choose your pledge now.
  • Host a community event. Find a local organization that specializes in mental health, and coordinate a community event. SAMHSA provides a list of organizations that can assist in the organization and execution of a community event to raise mental health awareness. Find an organization.
  • Save the Date: Twitter chat on mental health. Tweet with us July 17 at 2 pm EDT, using #MMHMChat.

Nominate a Point of Light – Reward your best volunteers!

During National Health Center Week, August 10th-16th, 2014, NACHC and Points of Light are partnering to honor individuals and/or groups who have volunteered for or at Health Centers. Do you know an individual or group that is inspiring change through their volunteerism? Recognize their good work by submitting a nomination for the Daily Point of Light Award. Five individuals/groups will be honored during National Health Center Week. Click here for more information and to access the nomination form.

Resources Available for National Health Center Week Planning

National Health Center Week 2014 – Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities – is just over month away (August 10th-16th). Health Centers should continue planning and POSTING events for this year’s celebration. Be sure to check out tools and resources on the NHCW website including best practices to recruit local event sponsors, event ideas, fact sheets, materials in Spanish, and media tools and templates. Also, take advantage of NHCW sale items at the NHCW store – all shirts are 15% off until July 9th! Keep up the good work to make sure your NHCW celebration is a success. Remember to post event information on the NHCW website today. The password to post events is: healthy.

National Health Center Week planning resources available!

National Health Center Week 2014 – Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities ­­– is coming up fast (August 10th-16th). Now is the time to start planning and POSTING your events for this year’s celebration. Access tools and resources on the NHCW website including best practices to recruit local event sponsors, event ideas, fact sheets, and media tools and templates. Be sure to check out the NHCW Store to order event items and giveaways for your celebrations – NHCW t-shirts will be 15% off from June 23rd to June 30th! Get started today to make sure your NHCW celebration is a success – post event information on the NHCW website today. The password to post events is: healthy.

National Health Center Week 2014 Picture and Video Contest Information Available

National Health Center Week 2014, themed “America’s Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities”, ­­is quickly approaching (August 10th-16th). Back this year is the popular National Health Center Week Picture and Video Contests. The contests are open to all Health Center Advocates including staff, board members, patients, and others. Submissions to both contests run from August 1st thorough the 29th. Check out the NHCW website for contest rules and themes as well as helpful hints for creating winning picture and video entries. The NHCW Picture and Video Contests are great opportunities not only to win some great prizes but also to bring some well-deserved attention to your Health Center. Also, don’t forget to post your NHCW events on the NHCW website.The password to post events is: healthy. Are you planning to host an outreach and enrollment type event during National Health Center Week this year? Let us know by emailing grassroots@nachc.com.

The first National Health Center Week event by an HCAN member is scheduled – All Care Health Center’s fundraiser during NHCWeek

National Health Center Week is August 10-16, 2014 and will be here before we know it!  To get ideas and resources for events to schedule, go to the NHCW website at www.healthcenterweek.com.

Don’t forget to submit your event to the NHCWeek interactive map to let everyone know about your event.  The password for submission is “healthy.”  Be sure to send your event to Robbie Adams, HCAN Communications Manager for inclusion in the HCAN Weekly eBrief and the HCAN National Health Center Week calendar.  Contact Robbie at radams@hcanebraska.org or 402-505-5426.

Share Your Story!

Please use the new Share your Story collection tool on the new “Get Covered” page to help your patients submit their own stories, or direct consumers to this new tool so consumers can share their personal stories about enrolling in and using their new coverage.  The Share your Story collection tool can also be reached through the new “Got Covered” widgets and badges.

Invite your Congressional Members for a Visit to your Health Center – Congressional calendars

Congressional Calendars

2014 U.S. Senate Calendar

2014 U.S. House of Representatives Calendar

All Congressional Members will be visiting their home districts during the March 19-23 NACHC P & I Forum in Washington, DC.  Thursday, March 20 is reserved for Congressional Visits with House and Senate Staff members who deal with Health Care.  Check the calendars above to ask your Congressperson to visit your Health Center this winter or spring before the campaign cycle for 2014 begins.