White House Issues Proclamation on Eve of NHCW21

BETHESDA, Md.–President Joe Biden praised the work of community health centers in the fight against COVID in a White House Proclamation issued today in advance of National Health Center Week 2021. President Biden said, “Today, health centers are one of the largest health care providers in the country and provide high-quality affordable, accessible, and value-based primary health care services to 29 million Americans each year — approximately 1 in 11 people across the country. They have also been a vital part of our Nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of National Health Center Week, we recognize the importance of federally-supported health centers and the role they play as a beacon of strength, service, and care in our communities.”

The President singled out the work of health centers as they continue efforts to vaccinate and build trust in the COVID vaccine amid the upsurge of the Delta variant. He said, “Our Nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is stronger because of our health centers, and the tireless, dedicated health center employees who continue to deliver critical services such as COVID-19 testing, treatment, and prevention services on the front lines. As we ramped up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines over the past several months, health centers, through the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, have vaccinated and built vaccine confidence in millions of Americans from hard-hit and high-risk communities.”

“We’re deeply appreciative of the President’s recognition of health centers’ efforts on the frontlines of COVID these past 18 months,” said NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden. “We could not have carried out this task without his Administration’s support and partnership.”

The White House Proclamation comes as health centers across the nation prepare to mark  National Health Center Week 2021 (August 8-14), a weeklong celebration of the program that began over 55 years ago as part of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  Events across the country include community vaccination events, health fairs and visits to health center sites by local and national leaders.

–National Association of Community Health Centers