Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Centers Inc. announced recently the national campaign to celebrate Health Centers will run through Aug. 13. The goal of National Health Center Week is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America's health centers.

Health centers were started over 50 years ago as a project to expand access to quality health care. Today, health centers have compiled a significant record of succes, which includes producing over $24 billion in annual health system savings; reducing visits to the emergency room; treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit; maintaining patient satisfaction levels; generating $26.5 billion in economic activity and over 230,000 jobs nationwide; and reducing infant mortality rates.

Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness; they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities, according to a National Health Center Week press release. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing health care costs, and reducing chronic disease, leaders in Congress have declared health centers a model of care that offers a "bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems" facing the nation.

To learn more about NHCW, visit www.healthcenterweek.org.

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