National Health Center Week
August 8-14, 2021
“The Chemistry for Strong Communities”
Every year, National Health Center Week (August 8 – 14) celebrates America’s Health Centers and their accomplishments.
Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. Let’s come together this week to celebrate the roles Community Health Centers have played in both protecting and strengthening our communities.
This National Health Center Week honors those front-line providers, staff, and beloved patients. From the very beginning of this pandemic, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients.
Community Health Centers understand patients’ social determinants that create barriers to care. These barriers to care can impact health outcomes for patients.
- Mobile Health Clinics with Vaccines Distribution and Health Screenings
- Food Drives
Many individuals experiencing homelessness have higher rates of chronic and acute disease, behavioral health conditions, and other needs that make them particularly vulnerable to poor health, disability, and early death.
- Mobile Health Clinics with Vaccine Distribution and Health Screenings
- Food Drive/Care Packages
- Haircuts for the Homeless- Partner with local barbers, hairstylists to provide haircuts for the homeless.
“Community Health Centers serve approximately 20% of the estimated 4.5 million Agricultural Workers in the United States.” – healthcenterweek.org
- Host a mobile health screen and health fair event onsite to reach agricultural workers at their workplace
Show your appreciation for your patients by celebrating your patients and community board members for choosing your health center for their health care needs.
- Host a Health Fair and Open House with events, prizes, and recognition activities.
- Post patient testimonials on social media.
- Highlight community board members on social media.
National Health Center Week is an excellent time to engage with your legislators and legislative staff. Recognize your legislative contacts by inviting them to your health centers and NHCW events.
For more information on advocacy during NHCW, click on the “Advocacy” tab for tips and ideas.
The diligence and hard work of health center staff and volunteers have helped keep communities safe and healthy during the pandemic. Use National Health Center Week as a time of self-care and recognition.
- Staff Lunch/Cookout
- Staff Nightout
- Stress Management Workshop
- Step/fitness Challenge
- Meditation/Yoga/Massage Session
- Sesame Street in Communities + NACHC: NACHC is partnering with Sesame Street in Communities for Children’s Health Day. For resources, visit healthcenterweek.org
- Back to School Fair- Hand out school supplies while providing sports physicals and vaccinations.
NHCW Activities & Event Ideas
National Health Center Week is a great time to celebrate and showcase your work with your community while taking time to honor your staff. We’ve shared some ideas that you can implement at your health center below. The National Association of Community Health Centers has also compiled a list of ideas for National Health Center Week.
Staff Appreciation Events
This past year has been difficult for many, especially those on the frontlines of the pandemic. Celebrate NHCW inward this year by honoring your staff and the hard work they’ve done to help keep your patients safe during the pandemic.
Think of self-care and team-building events throughout the week to celebrate your staff.
- Night out event (bowling, baseball game, mini-golf, etc.)
- Stress management training, meditation classes, massage sessions
- Fitness Competition (5k or step challenge)
- Spirit Week Competition
- Staff Awards
Invite the community to your health center to tour and showcase your health center. This event could be in-person or virtual by recording a walk-thru of your health center. Invite local legislators to your health center to learn about all the great work you have done. Please visit our Advocacy tab to learn more about advocacy during National Health Center Week.
During this time of the year, back-to-school is on the minds of many families in your community. Time this time to focus on the services you offer that will help families get ready for back-to-school.
- Back-to-School Care Fairs that offer school supplies, physicals, immunizations, COVID-19 vaccines.
- With this year’s theme centered around STEM, think of ways to make the events educational like displays that explain the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Since many children are still not older enough yet to get the COVID-19 vaccine, think about changing the fair to a drive-thru one that offers curbside pickup for school supplies and immunizations.
Healthy Lifestyle Events
Promote a healthy lifestyle during National Health Center Week by hosting a 5k Walk/Run or an employee step contest.
- In-person or Virtual 5k Race
- Host a farmer’s market to promote healthy eating
- Host Workshops/Classes. These classes could be exercise, yoga, or a health-related topic like stress management. These classes could be in-person or virtual (Facebook/Instagram Live)
Give Back To the Community
Take time during National Health Center Week to give back to your community and to highlight your community partners.
- Host an event to distribute care packages or offer services like vaccine distribution, healthcare check-ups, or haircuts to individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Set up a food drive at your health center
- Highlight your community partners on social media
- Blood Drive
We encourage you to contact your Members of Congress, General Assembly Members, representatives from the Governor’s office, and all of your local elected officials to educate them, gain their commitment to your mission and funding, and remind them about the great ways you are helping local communities across Virginia! We encouraged our members to invite your representatives to visit and tour your health centers. Extend an invitation for an in-person visit, but also have virtual alternatives in place. Keep NHCW events nonpartisan- if you invite one candidate, invite all candidates in congressional/local races.
Please check with your health center’s Executive Director or CEO regarding your health center’s policy regarding political involvement.
- Host a Voter Registration Day- Organize a voter registration drive at your health center. You can download state voter registration forms from the department of elections website. After the drive, take the registration forms to the local board of elections or county registrar in person, or you can mail them to the local board of elections, county registrar, or Secretary of State’s office.
- Invite your Members of Congress, General Assembly Members, representatives from the Governor’s office, and all of your local elected officials to learn more about your health center’s mission and the great work your health center has done.
Tips for an Election Year:
- If an elected official contacts you about visiting your health center site, please welcome them!
- If you are inviting elected officials to visit your site, remember that it’s important to invite everyone – incumbents
and candidates for office – to educate them about your health center and how you serve your communities.
- It’s VERY IMPORTANT that incumbents and candidates understand that this is not a campaign stop and that no
campaign/election efforts may be made in your center, nor on the grounds of the center.
- If they wish to speak to the media while at your site, please invite them to do so OFF Premises – do not allow it
onsite, as that may be construed as an endorsement of the incumbent or candidate by your health center.
- Being that you receive federal as well as state funds, be clear that you must remain non-partisan.
- Per NACHC, health centers as organizations CANNOT participate or intervene in any political campaign, nor
can they be involved in partisan activities.
- Sidenote: Everyone has the right to be involved in political campaigns and/or partisan activities
in their personal time (off the health center clock), so long as they are not speaking on behalf of the
- Sidenote: Everyone has the right to be involved in political campaigns and/or partisan activities
- For more information on legal do’s and don’ts, visit the NACHC website at:
The following resources are about nonprofit staff members’ involvement in political campaigns and/or working with
National Health Center Week is a great time to attract new candidates for your health center’s open positions. Highlight the benefits of working at a community health center. Share employee testimonials on why they chose to work in community health and share them on social media.
Finding the right candidate is not easy. Virginia Community Healthcare Association offers Custom Recruitment Services to assist you in finding the right candidate for your health center. You can rest assured that we focus on exactly what you are looking for to fill your provider needs. Contact Bernadette Ramirez, Senior Recruiter/Workforce Development Specialist to learn more about our Provider Placement Program and we can help you find the right providers to meet the needs of the communities you serve.
- Place flyers around the community to promote the health center is now hiring.
- Host a job fair at your health center.
Fundraising During National Health Center Week
While National Health Center Week is a time to share the incredible work Community Health Centers do for their communities, it can also be an opportunity to conduct a fundraiser for your Health Center.
Virtual Fundraising Ideas
Technology Drive– Ask the community to donate old laptops, computers, etc. to give to patients that do not have access to the equipment needed to access telehealth services
As we plan for the possibility of having to continue social distancing this summer, videos and photos can help bridge the divide between your health center and your community. You may use videos to host virtual events like fitness or cooking classes or live-stream an Ask a Provider Q&A session or share photos of fun behind-the-scenes moments with your staff.
Video Editing Software:
- iMovie (Mac)
- AdobeSpark (Windows, Mac, Smartphone)
- Adobe Premiere Rush (Windows, Mac, Smartphone)
- HitFilm Express (Windows, Mac)
- Lightworks (Windows, Mac)
- ShotCut (Windows, Mac)
Licensed and Royalty-Free Music:
If you plan to safely host an in-person event during National Health Center Week, consider asking the press to attend your event or writing a press release after your event. Involving the media is a great way to get free publicity for your health center, and to educate the community about your mission and services. Even if you don’t host any in-person events, you may consider writing a Letter to the Editor during National Health Center Week to discuss the importance and needs of community health centers.
Media Relations Webinar
(Password to view: comtalk19)