Thankful For Community Health Centers!

Ad paid for by Californians to Protect Patients and Contain Health Care Costs, a Coalition of Physicians, Dentists and Health Care Insurers and Providers. Committee Major Funding from The Doctors Company, California Medical Association, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and the Hospitals.

Myself with prescriptions

Hey All!

When I first moved out to California, I had just been kicked off my mother’s health insurance and I was struggling. Not having health insurance meant it was very hard for me to see doctors or take care of any personal health issues. Needless to say, it was a very stressful time. Thankfully, a friend of mine told me to go to my local community health center to see if they could help.

Myself with prescriptions

I immediately remembered going to my local community health centers growing up back in New York. I don’t know why I didn’t think to look for them out here in California. I grew up in public housing and we were very very poor. I remember having to go to local community health centers to get treatments when I was sick. I got pneumonia two times as a young child and it left me with asthma. Thankfully I grew out of it and barely have any lung issues. They helped me get my inhaler and as a precaution. I still have one to this day. My local community health center helped my family manage my health issues even as a child.

Myself with prescriptions

I was extremely thankful to know that local community health centers were also available in California and one was located not far from where I lived. It was amazing to see how many people my age in their early 20’s were using the community health center for their health care. Did you know more than 1 in 5 Californians rely on community health centers for their medical needs? That includes preventative checkups, cancer screenings, COVID-19 care, prenatal visits and much more!

They do so much to keep their communities safe and healthy. That’s why it’s devastating  to learn that costs  for CHC’s have increased. It hurts many of these health centers that are already operating on stretched budgets. When community health centers are struggling budget wise, they are forced to make tough cuts like reduced services, limited clinic hours and in some cases, being forced to close their doors altogether.

That’s devastating because it leaves people in those communities without access to essential care. Sadly these communities are usually BIPOC communities that rely on California’s community health centers. More than 71% of patients are from communities of color.

Myself with prescriptions

They are pivotal health care providers in medically underserved communities across the state of California, including about 860,745 agricultural workers served and 34% of patients speak no or limited English. My Puerto Rican Grandma, who helped raise me, spoke hardly any English. I remember our community health centers were always catered to our Spanish speaking community.

I digress, when I was in my 20’s, my California community health center helped with all my preventative checkups, they provided birth control and prescriptions I needed for any health issues. I still take some of the medicines they helped get prescribed, like my acid reflux medication to this day.  They also provided sexual health screenings and testing for me, since I was dating at the time. They even provided me with feminine care products if I needed them.

I will always be forever grateful for the health care and kindness I got from my community health center. That’s why it’s so important for me to support them and to make sure this kind of care is around for those in need of it.

Myself with pillow

Not having this kind of care is devastating to communities and I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t found my community health center. They need to be properly funded so they can continue the good work they do for those in need. I’m hopeful they will be around for years to come.

To learn more about the services community health centers provide and how you can help @ProtectAccessCA support these communities, click here.