Health Centers On The Front Lines

National Association of Community Health Centers

The Health Centers on the Front Lines podcast series tells the inspiring story of Community Health Centers around the country that provide healthcare and other services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Health centers were founded on the belief that healthcare is a right, not a privilege and strive to achieve equity and fairness by providing care to communities that are historically underserved by traditional health systems.

Launched during the Civil Rights Movement, Community Health Centers bring a social justice lens to health care. Subscribe to the Health Centers on the Front Lines and learn how a little-known health care program that’s been around for more than 50 years is bringing healthcare to where people are – and helping to empower communities in the process.

Health Centers on the Front Lines is produced by the National Association of Community Health Centers. read less

Q&A with Dr. John Hatch, Health Center Pioneer
Jan 11 2023
Q&A with Dr. John Hatch, Health Center Pioneer
In this episode, we hear from Dr. John W. Hatch about the history of Community Health Centers and how it intersects with the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Hatch is a professor emeritus of public health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a legend in the health center movement. He was instrumental in establishing one of the nation's first community health centers in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, which was an all African American town founded in the 1860s.Dr. Hatch pioneered approaches to addressing social drivers of health and describes building latrines, installing window screens, and starting a farm cooperative to provide affordable, nutritious food to the community. He explains how community input was part of the health center model from the very beginning. He also calls for more activism and policy change to address the challenges facing health centers and their patients today.Featured in this EpisodeBenjamin Money JrSenior VP, NACHCLinkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-money-6133436 Profile: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/about/leadership/benjamin-money Dr. John W. HatchProfessor Emeritus of Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel HilChapters00:00 Introduction01:31 The changing of terms02:35 The social drivers and how to address them12:30 Moving in the area of environmental health15:18 Establishing the Co-op16:49 Adding benefits like non-medical things21:18 Envisioning what Health Centers could become25:12 Continuing the legacy29:42 Addressing racial inequality34:18 Communities addressing the public health issues45:54 The incredible community health workers52:54 The communities of today 56:05 Giving ThanksProduced by Heartcast Media.www.heartcastmedia.com
Work As a Social Driver of Health: How La Casa Family Health Center Identifies Farmworkers
Oct 10 2022
Work As a Social Driver of Health: How La Casa Family Health Center Identifies Farmworkers
The pandemic made our nation aware of the importance of the people who raise, pick, and process our food. We now understand that farmworkers, as well as grocery store cashiers and shelf stockers can be counted among our country’s Essential Workers. However, it’s not always clear to the Community Health Center care team what a patient’s occupation is. Occupation is one of the most important social drivers of health, affecting patients’ health and access to healthcare in many different ways. This episode of Health Centers on the Front Lines takes us behind the scenes at a health center and their partner network as they change the culture around disclosure of occupation among patients. Our guests talk about what it takes to collect data about a patient’s occupation and why it improves care when the care team knows what work their patients do. Featured in the Episode Katherine Chung-Bridges, MDDirector of Research at Health Choice NetworkLinkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katherine-chung-bridges-8a0127170/ Daniel ParrasResearch Data ScientistHealth Choice NetworkWebsite: https://www.hcnetwork.org/ Yvonne ArmijoDirector of Operations/Information System AnalystLa Casa Family Health CenterWebsite: https://www.lacasahealth.com/ Giddel Thom, MD Chief Medical DirectorLa Casa Family Health CenterWebsite: https://www.lacasahealth.com/ Chapters00:00 Introduction01:56 The story of dairy farm workers07:49 What is occupational data and how does it affect health care?10:18 The difficulty of collecting these data12:19 The challenge of integrating occupational data into the E-health records15:44 The importance of occupation in health and in socioeconomics20:00 Reactions when meeting new patients having to know their past medical records24:03 Takeaways from our guests Produced by Heartcast Mediahttps://www.heartcastmedia.com/
What to Expect When You Vaccinate Your Child Under 5 for COVID-19
Jul 18 2022
What to Expect When You Vaccinate Your Child Under 5 for COVID-19
After a long wait, children younger than 5 are finally eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19. What does this mean for parents and caregivers? Wanda Montalvo, PhD, RN, FAAN, a senior fellow and team lead for public health integration and innovation at NACHC, interviews pediatrician Lisa Costello, M.D., MPH, about vaccine benefits as well as answers some commonly asked questions.For more resources about vaccines, view the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, We Can Do This provider and patient education materials on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines: Resources About COVID-19 Vaccinations for ChildrenKey TakeawaysThe systematic process for approving the COVID-19 vaccine for childrenThe risk assessment on children getting vaccinatedThe definition of Long CoVid and what it means to childrenEngaging with parents and communities to promote vaccination for childrenQuotesFrom what I've experienced, choosing vaccination is the safest path for the protection of your children - Dr. CostelloThe communities trust their local health care provider and if we provide them with resources, we can do a great deal in improving vaccine confidence - Dr. Costello Featured in the EpisodeWanda Montalvo, PHD, RN, FAANSenior Fellow, Public Health Integration,National Association of Community Health CentersLinkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wmontalvophdrnTwitter: https://twitter.com/Montalvo501Company Website: Nachc.org Lisa Costello MD, MPH, FAAPPediatrics Dept. West Virginia University School of MedicineProfile: https://directory.hsc.wvu.edu/Profile/35594 Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-m-costello-b1329391 Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisacostellowv?lang=en Contact Details 304-598-4835 Chapters00:00 Intro and Guest's background02:28 the process of approval06:37 Risk assessment 11:25 Long Covid, and what it means to children13:34 Promoting children's vaccination18:25 post-vaccination for children21:43 Final thoughts Produced by Heartcast Mediahttps://www.heartcastmedia.com
Talking to Parents About the Value of the COVID-19 Vaccine for their Children
Jun 28 2022
Talking to Parents About the Value of the COVID-19 Vaccine for their Children
Vaccine hesitancy has been on the rise due to COVID and the lack of information about this kind of medication. Vaccine hesitancy is not always new. It is especially common among parents who are reluctant to get their children immunized. Added to misinformation and disinformation, children are at risk of getting sick if they will not get vaccinated.In this episode, Dr. Wanda Montalvo invited Dr. Jennie McLaurin and she explained what Emergency Use Authorization is and its purpose. Moreover, Dr. McLaurin talks of the rising vaccine hesitancy among parents and the risk if children will not get vaccinated on time. She also emphasized that the hesitancy is caused by misinformation and disinformation campaigns in the public.Key TakeawaysEmergency Use Authorization and what is it all aboutIncreased vaccine hesitancy among parentsExplaining the risks of unvaccinated children among parentsRising cases of disinformation and misinformation about drugs and vaccines Quotes"Emergency use authorization is not rushing of preparation and skipping oversight. The drugs have to get through a number of clinical trials before they're allowed to be part of an emergency use authorization."- Dr. McLaurin"Parents are always thinking about what they allow their children to receive in their bodies, whether a vaccine or a drug or a certain type of food nutrition." - Dr. McLaurin"Vaccines have gotten safer and safer."- Dr. McLaurinFeatured in the EpisodeWanda Montalvo, PHD, RN, FAANSenior Fellow, Public Health Integration,National Association of Community Health CentersLinkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wmontalvophdrn Twitter: https://twitter.com/Montalvo501 Company Website: Nachc.org Jennie McLaurin, MD, MPH, MASenior Fellow Public Health Integration and InnovationNational Association of Community Health CentersLinkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennie-mclaurin-5111b6133/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MclaurinJennie Company Website: Nachc.org Chapters00:00 Intro02:41 What is Emergency Use Authorization?05:56 The rising vaccine hesitancy among parents07:34 Vaccines that most parents dislike10:53 Children's risk against unvaccinated and COVID14:35 Simple picture for protecting your child19:30 Disinformation and misinformation26:14 Final thoughts Produced by Heartcast Mediahttps://www.heartcastmedia.com
A Path to Healing for Health Care Workers
Mar 15 2022
A Path to Healing for Health Care Workers
Coming off another surge in COVID cases, health care workers who may have been stressed and strained before are now experiencing emotional exhaustion. This is no less true for the staff of the nation’s 1,400 health centers. Supporting the emotional and mental health of health center workers has been a focus of two of NACHC's Senior Fellows, Dr. Jennie McLaurin and Dr. Grace Wang. Dr. McLaurin is a pediatrician with 30 years of experience caring for underserved families at the local, state, and national level, including as medical director of migrant and community health centers. Dr. Wang is a family physician who worked for more than 30 years at health centers and public health departments in New York City and Seattle, most recently at International Community Health Services in Seattle. They talk about the dynamics of "moral distress" and "moral injury" affecting health care workers right now, made more acute during the pandemic. And offer some answers to the question: When so much is out of their control, what are some practices that health center staff can use to deal with the stress of work? And what can health center leaders be doing to support staff?📍Key Takeaways☑️Understanding the Mental and Emotional Health of Health Center Employees☑️Addressing Moral Injury and Distress, What is it and Where it comes from☑️Supports and Recommendations for Dealing with the Problem Among Health Care Personnel and Their Organization☑️Changes in policy and new programs to address the problem at healthcare facilities, among healthcare workers, and in the people of color community 📍Quote Takeaways📣“It's critical that the health center's leaders understand what's going on in the workforce, and that they provide both time assistance and a healing environment to improve the situation. - Grace📣“So when the leadership denies us the capacity to provide high-quality treatment or contradicts the knowledge that underpins our care, we've suffered a moral injury. - Jennie 📍Our Host and Guest for this Episode🎙️Alexandra Walker | LinkedinDirector of Digital Communications, National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)Nachc.org🎙️Dr. Jennie McLaurin | Linkedin | TwitterSenior Fellow Public Health Integration and Innovation at National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)Nachc.org🎙️Dr. Grace Wang | ProfileSenior Fellow Public Health Integration and Innovation at National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)Nachc.org 📍Time Stamp⌛[00:00] Introduction⌛[01:49] Mental And Emotional Health⌛[07:45] Moral Injury for oneself⌛[12:10] Moral Injury in a Healthcare setting⌛[17:09] Effects of the distress ⌛[19:16] supports and recommendations⌛[28:03] Policy and Programs⌛[34:38] ConclusionThis podcast was produced by Heartcast Media
Community Health Centers Mark One Year of Ensuring Equity in COVID Vaccinations
Feb 14 2022
Community Health Centers Mark One Year of Ensuring Equity in COVID Vaccinations
Community health centers are a national network of low-income primary care clinicians who play a key role in national, state, and local responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Health centers generally contribute to response efforts by delivering testing, triaging patients, and decreasing the pressure on hospitals, but they also play a role in meeting demand for behavioral health services and providing ongoing primary care to patients with chronic diseases.In this podcast episode, We welcome Jim Macrae, an associate administrator for primary health care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration. Jim will speak about his experience throughout the one-year pandemic while assuring equity in COVID vaccinations.📍Key Takeaways🌟The importance of Community Health Centers during the roll-out of Covid Vaccine🌟Lessons and Challenges faced during the Pandemic at the Community Level.🌟Data and Resolution during the Implementation of Covid Vaccination Program🌟Effective Systems and Models developed during the Vaccination Program📍Quote Takeaways📣“Most importantly, health centers are trusted. They're trusted in their communities because their boards are actually patient majority, but also many of the employees at the health center are local residents.” - Jim📍Special Terms and Websites mentioned in the episode☑️FDA - Food and Drug Administration☑️CDC - Center for Disease Control and Prevention☑️Bureau Primary Health Care - bphc.hrsa.gov  📍Our Host and Guest for this Episode🎙️Ben Money | Profile | LinkedinNext Senior Vice president of Public Health Priorities🎙️Jim Macrae | Profile Associate administrator for primary health care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration.📍Time Stamp⌛[00:00] Introduction⌛[00:57] Roles and Challenges of Community Health Centers ⌛[07:05] Lessons learned from a Bureau Standpoint⌛[14:08] Health Center COVID 19 Vaccination Program⌛[21:47] Statistical Data and Analysis on Vaccine Program⌛[24:51] Effective Service Models that will stick around in the future⌛[28:49] ConclusionThis podcast was produced by Heartcast Media
Of the Community, for the Community: Lowell Community Health Center
Nov 2 2021
Of the Community, for the Community: Lowell Community Health Center
Recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the COVID-19 vaccination gap narrowing between white adults and people of color in the United States. Community Health Centers like Lowell Community Health Center in Massachusetts play a big role in closing that gap. In this episode, we talk with two staff members at Lowell about how their community outreach efforts have been critical in helping them vaccinate their patients, 40 percent of whom speak a primary language other than English.Jeanmerli Gonzalez is Lowell's Community Outreach Coordinator and Brent Carney is Lowell's Communications Director.The health center has strong roots in its diverse community and these connections have helped Lowell in administering a majority of vaccines to people of color. As the vaccination effort turns now to people who are undecided, children, and people affected by employer mandates, we hear about what’s working and what challenges remain.   Quotes Mentioned:"There's no one magic solution. It really is a one on one time period right now that we, you know, you really do need to reach out to each person individually and based on that person's age, their background, their personal situation at home, the way they're going to get information is going to be unique to each individual.""This is a a learning process and that we're not on a short trip. We're on a long haul and that we want to make sure that we're just checking in on each other. I think that's a lot of things we've been doing on our end. I'm grateful for the health center and they're thinking about us and they've provided opportunities.""The biggest barrier right now is really misinformation and that's, you know, across the board. So we're trying to make sure that we battle that misinformation in unique ways by trying to get providers on social media, doing videos, generally going out to events and talking to people and other community health workers doing that."Learn More Links:Website: https://www.lchealth.org/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LowellCommunityHealthCenter/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lowell-community-health-center/NACHC Podcasts: https://www.nachc.org/nachc-podcasts/
Vaccinating Mississippi As Delta Variant Rages
Oct 7 2021
Vaccinating Mississippi As Delta Variant Rages
Rural Americans are dying of COVID-19 at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts. On the latest episode Health Centers on the Front Lines we get an update from Mississippi and learn how health centers are fighting rampant misinformation to limit the spread of the Delta Variant and build trust in the vaccine. We also talk about how the Delta Health Center achieved 100% vaccination rate of its staff. Guests:* Tara Miller-Gallion of the Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, the nation's first Community Health Center established by Civil Rights Leaders. * Terrence Shirley from the Community Health Center Association of Mississippi     Key Takeaways:0:00 Intro1:29 Terrence talks about the current political climate and how it's at odds with the medical community2:59 Tara talks about how they are trying to educate the community about dangers of COVID and why they should get vaccinated4:35 Tara explains the struggles of keeping patients correctly informed due to misinformation on social media5:43 Terrence talks about how the misinformation of the vaccine is when it became politicized7:12 Terrence talks about how they are partnering with various places around the state to hold training sessions to help assist the community8:03 Tara talks bout the 19 sites with tents they have set up across the state to help administer the vaccine 9:29 Terrence talks about people who are against the vaccine and who speak negatively against it and how it hurts stopping the spread of COVID10:25 Tara talks about overcoming her fear of needles to get the vaccine to protect her family11:30 Tara talks about the struggle of convincing people to get vaccinated and the hardship of losing people to COVID13:16 Terrence reflects on how he thinks his fathers outlook on the pandemic would be like16:11 Terrence talks about the effect the Delta variant has had on the population17:08 Tara talks about the history of the health center in Mound BayouResources Mentioned:Mound Bayou - a city in Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,533 at the 2010 census, down from 2,102 in 2000. It is notable for having been founded as an independent black community in 1887 by former slaves led by Isaiah Montgomery.Delta Health Center - Dr. H. Jack Geiger and Dr.  Count Gibson (Tufts University Medical School Physicians) secured funding in 1965 from the Office of Economic Opportunity to establish what is now known as Delta Health Center, Inc. in Mound Bayou (then all African- American town), MS to serve Bolivar, Coahoma, Sunflower, and Washington counties, where poverty was widespread. Quotes Mentioned:"Efforts to encourage vaccinations through mandatory policies are perceived as an infringement upon the rights of a lot of people here in the state of Mississippi. And this impacts the ongoing hesitancy campaigns and minimizes participation at our ongoing vaccination events.""The thing about it is a vaccine that's here to help us. Just like all the other vaccines, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, everything is here to help us. So it is something that's not prevent you from getting COVID but it would help your body to fight against it, and we emphasize the importance to them over and over again and just tell them that you can't listen to the media because a lot of times the people on these different social media platforms."Social Media Links:Terrence Shirleyhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/terrence-shirley-47837530https://chcams.org/staff/
Fighting Mistrust about Vaccines in the Rural Georgia
Jul 15 2021
Fighting Mistrust about Vaccines in the Rural Georgia
Our first episode shines a spotlight on a health center deep in America's Bible Belt. Albany Area Health Center serves a rural Georgia county that ranked 4th in the world for COVID-19 deaths per capita last summer. Their effort to battle the pandemic brought out the best in their community, but now they face the daunting challenge of vaccinating people who are undecided about the benefits of the vaccine. Hear how they’re approaching the next phase in the pandemic.Key Takeaways:0:00 Intro1:18 Amy shares a short clip created by staff members from Albany Area Primary Health Care explaining how the pandemic hit them unexpectedly 2:43 Ronda shares a little bit of history about their health center, the population, whom they serve, and the challenges they have faced for the past 18 months addressing the pandemic 4:13 Ronda also talks about how far the nearest health center was to them and who they really are4:57 Pam talks about what she was thinking and feeling when the pandemic started to spread in their center quickly and they were in a good position before then 5:54 Ronda talks about why the State of Georgia has one of the lowest vaccination rates for Covid when they are declared an epicenter of Covid 7:48 Pam also shares some of the reasons she feels the State of Georgia has the lowest vaccination rates for Covid 9:37 Ronda and Pam talk about the number of vaccines they think they have administered already 10:21 Ronda also talks about how the vaccination hesitancy in the people that come to them to get vaccinated looks like and what they do to help them get over it 12:16 Ronda and Pam explain why it’s the conversation that they have with people to help them get over the fear of being vaccinated that works and not one message 14:25 Pam talks about if having conversations with the community about the vaccine helped to get rid of the misinformation that they had about the vaccine 15:55 Ronda and Pam talk about the Pfizer vaccine for 12 and older people and the strategies that they are using to reach this population 17:25 Pam talks about the passionate group of physicians and nurses who are volunteering to partner with the health center to do the work 19:40 Ronda talks about switching from the mass vaccination site model to bringing shots to where the people are and how effective it is and if people are still coming to them 22:02 Pam shares her thoughts on the Biden Administration wanting to get about 70% of the Americans vaccinated by July fourth and if that will be possible 24:17 Ronda also shares her thoughts on if it will be possible for the Biden administration to vaccinate about 70% of the Americans by July fourth 27:20 Ronda and Pam talk about what they feel they bring to the table as a health center  that is so important for a successful vaccination process 30:28 Pam shares the advice that she gives to the people who come to the health center for information and they are listening while they are on the fence 31:34 Ronda also shares her advice to people who are hesitant of getting the vaccination and what they should do 32:38 Pam and Ronda share some of their low and high points as providers and volunteers in the past 18 months of fighting the pandemic Shows Mentioned:Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is a better way to health and wellness. Our comprehensive network of physicians, nurses, and staff at three hospitals and more than 20 clinics delivers high-quality healthcare to the residents across Southwest Georgia.The United States Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation headquartered on 42nd Street in Manhattan, New York City. The name of the company commemorates its co-founder, Charles Pfizer.Quotes Mentioned:“The driving factor to get vaccinated or to not get vaccinated has been fear.”“There’s no amount of education or information you can give to someone that fearful that's going to change their mind.”“Everything’s very doable if you put enough energy into it.”“You have to be innovative and creative to get patients involved in their care.”“An informed decision is the best decision.”Guests Social Media Links:Ronda ArlineLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronda-arline-8a36a21b2/ Website: https://aaphc.org/ Pam ReynoldsWebsite: https://aaphc.org/