Guest blog post by Emily Ehresmann, Community Outreach Coordinator for Access Community Health Centers in Madison, Wisconsin.
Postcards and Posters: Engaging Patients Through Advocacy at Access Community Health Centers’ South Central Wisconsin Clinics
Early this spring, more than 1,000 patients and supporters signed post cards advocating for Medicaid and Community Health Centers as part of Access Community Health Centers’ first advocacy campaign. Our Chief Financial Officer hand-delivered the messages to lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of a nationwide effort by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to raise awareness of the critical work done at the nation’s more than 1,200 Community Health Centers.
The overwhelming support showed that our patients are engaged and interested in being part of the discussion on important issues involving their health center.
Because there is no better way to be part of this process than voting, Access has provided non-partisan information to those visiting our five clinics that let them know how they can register to vote in important upcoming elections.
Large, colorful posters draw attention to information and post cards available in the waiting rooms of our clinics in Dane and Iowa counties. These materials simplify the sometimes confusing ways to register to vote in Wisconsin, and how patients can be certain they are registered to vote.
The goal: To help our patients become more active advocates and participants in the political process.
“We will continue to help give a voice to the people we serve through these efforts,” says Access CEO Dr. Ken Loving. “A big part of the success of Community Health Centers is that we have long enjoyed bipartisan support. Everyone can get behind the work we do. The support we have gained through advocacy efforts to strength and expand our health centers is further evidence of this.”