We’ve all heard the phrase “Use it or lose it” – a cause and effect.
If you have ventured to this blog, most likely you identify yourself in some way as a supporter of Community Health Centers. You support the idea of access to primary and preventive health care for all. You care about the people in your community – your neighbors, your friends, and even people who you don’t even know. Supporters like you are health center patients, physicians, nurses, social workers, volunteers, board members. While supporters come from a wide variety of backgrounds and diverse rural and urban communities all across the nation, offering a plethora of skills and unique qualities, one thing we all have is a voice.
A voice can be used at a rally; it can be used in an email to an elected official and by signing a petition; a voice can be used at the polls on Election Day; it can be used in a letter to a newspaper editor; a voice can be used in a blog post. But if you don’t use it, you lose it.
No, I don’t mean you literally lose your voice. I mean you lose the effect. If we don’t speak up, in our communities and with our elected officials, we lose access to health care. We lose the hard fought battles to maintain and increase funding for Community Health Centers. We lose the ability to continue seeing some patients. We lose opportunities to expand into new communities who desperately need access to health care. Yes, hard fights have been fought, and health care reform was passed. But did you know there are still 60 million Americans who lack access to primary care? Did you know funding cuts this year have already eliminated health centers’ ability to serve 5 million more underserved patients?
If you care about access to care for your fellow Americans, for your neighbors, for anyone in your community or neighboring communities who needs access, you must use your voice. Join the Campaign For America’s Health Centers to unite with like-minded supporters and learn how you can have a voice, and share the voice of thousands of advocates across the nation. Together we can make a difference. Together we can have a voice. But if we don’t use it, everyone one of us, we lose it. It’s time to Step Up! for Community Health Centers and for every person’s right to continued and expanded access to care.