Oconee Valley Healthcare earned the Silver Level Advocacy Center of Excellence recognition from the National Association of Community Health Centers in December 2020. This is the second level a health center can achieve. This distinction shows that Oconee Valley is dedicated to advocating for, or supporting, health centers like ours that provide comprehensive care to patients. As noted on our page about Federally Qualified Health Centers, we are a community-based health care provider that receives funds from the HRSA program to provide primary care services in underserved areas. Our health center advocates to show elected officials that the funding we receive is important to continue the care we currently provide our patients. Over the next few years, Oconee Valley Healthcare will be working towards the Gold level of recognition.
What Is An Advocacy Center Of Excellence?
An Advocacy Center of Excellence, or ACE, is a Health Center or Primary Care Association that creates a culture of advocacy to ensure that policy makers at all levels of government commit to investing in affordable, equitable, and innovative care that health centers provide. ACE levels recognize consistent engagement, success, and demonstrated ongoing commitment to making advocacy an organizational priority. ACEs are actively engaged and involved with NACHC and federal policy issues, as well as their state Primary Care Association and key state and local-level policy issues impacting health centers and their patients. There are three levels of ACEs – Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with each designation valid for two years. There is a checklist of items a health center must complete in order to become an ACE. (Source: Health Center Advocacy Network)
What Does Oconee Valley Healthcare Do As An Advocacy Center Of Excellence?
- Our staff members are health center advocates. They receive updates about the national, state, and local policy issues affecting health centers, and reach out to our leaders and representatives to ask for support of our cause.
- Oconee Valley Healthcare participates in National Health Center Week (NHCW) each August. NHCW brings light to the work that health centers do in communities. We host events and activities that week, highlighting our outreach and services and thanking our elected officials for their support. Our staff gets involved with spirit days and plays an active role in reminding our patients about the FQHC model.
- We ensure that we are a voice in our community for the patients who need the services and discount program that we provide.
How Do I Become Involved?
- Sign up as an advocate! Visit the ACE website and sign up to receive advocacy emails. It’s easy and a great way to show support of health centers in your community! Make sure you choose Oconee Valley Healthcare in the drop down menu (currently still listed as Tender Care Clinic).
- Use health centers for your healthcare needs! Our health center provides primary care, as well as dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, and wellness services. Our total care for the patient is beyond what other primary care providers can offer, and we even have a discount program for patients without insurance.
- Spread the word! Did you know that over 27 million patients receive quality and affordable healthcare from health centers across the nation? And that 10,400 locations exist across the country as part of 1,400 organizations? Each health center has unique services, tailored to the community it is in. Tell your family and friends about the benefits of health centers.