I love to showcase my wonderful clients, one of which is located in Chehalis, Washington, where, as a young wife and mother, I lived for 10 years. This nonprofit is amazing, and is performing marvelous services for thousands of people who need healthcare but may be underinsured or uninsured. Or they may just need good health care. Chehalis Mayor Tony Ketchum (left) presents a proclamation to Valley View Health Center Executive staff Human Resources Director Leslie Wohld, Chief Operations Officer Linda Tomasheck, and Executive Director Steve Clark. Valley View Health Center is marking National Health Center Week 2010 (NHCW) with several events including a Monday Morning Mixer at 7:30 a.m., an Open House on Tuesday at the Early Learning and Literacy Corner (at the Chehalis location) at noon. This event includes free book give-a-ways, car seat drawing, snacks, community resources and early learning activities for children up to 5 years old. The highlight of Community Health Center week is our 5th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Friday at Newaukum Valley Golf Course. These events are part of a weeklong campaign (August 8-14) to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of Community Health Centers. There are coast-to-coast events at local health centers that include health fairs, press conferences and tours by Members of Congress. This is the first celebration of NHCW since the enactment of the landmark health reform law, which provides a direct investment to strengthen primary care through the expansion of Community Health Centers. One of the bright spots in America's health care system, Community Health Centers are the family doctor to over 20 million people at 8,000 sites nationwide, including 1 million people in Washington State. Community Health Centers critical role in providing quality primary care has been widely praised by bipartisan Congressional leaders and the last two Presidential Administrations. Health centers have also been in the public spotlight because now more than ever the uninsured and casualties of the economic recession are seeking their services. Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have made it possible for health centers to serve over two million patients, and over one million uninsured patients. With health reform, the U.S. health care system will save up to $122 billion in total health care costs between 2011 and 2015 with the expansion of health centers, according to an analysis by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. "Every day in our waiting rooms I witness the value of having a medical home," said Steven C. Clark, Executive Director of Valley View Health Center. "When people have a place to go for regular care, they stay healthy. We provide a range of services onsite – primary and preventative care, dental care and behavioral health care. Our patients not only get the care they need under one roof, they are treated with dignity, compassion and respect for individual and cultural diversity. This is what health care should be, and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week. "Celebrating America's Health Centers: Turning the Vision into Reality” is the theme for National Health Center Week This theme highlights the program's 45-year record of providing high quality, cost-effective health care, as well as the future of health care for the community and across the nation. Health centers will expand their capacity to double the number of patients to 40 million in five years under health reform, saving the U.S. health care system as much as $300 billion over the next ten years by treating people before they get sick and require costlier care at a hospital." To find out more about National Health Center Week, visit www.healthcenterweek.org. For more information on Valley View Health Center, your local Community Heath Center, please visit www.vvhc.org.
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