All October we have been urging Health Center advocates to sign the “Fix the Cliff Petition” and stop 70% funding cuts to Health Centers scheduled to occur within the next two years. Our goal was to collect 25,000 signatures in the month of October in an effort to be consistent with the White House.gov petition threshold and hopefully garner a response from the President. We are ecstatic to say we have surpassed that goal with a total of 40,832 signatures collected in October! Each petition signer should feel proud of the role they played in helping to meet this goal and know that their signature amassed with thousands of others sends an critical message to President Obama about the importance of “fixing the health center funding cliff” immediately.
A few states and health centers stood out for their excellent work to push the “Fix the Cliff” petition in their state and community. Over 5,400 signatures were collected in New York, 84% of which were collected on the ground at health centers through hard copy signatures. Kudos to CHCANYS for helping to coordinate, organize, and cheer advocates on as they hosted petition drives locally. North Carolina and Michigan, also came out strong providing leadership in communicating the importance of the petition, setting clear collection goals for signatures, and providing updates and benchmarks to advocates in the state.
Many Health Centers also modeled excellence in their effort to host local petition drives and rally as many signatures as possible in October. Family Health Care Clinic, Inc. collected a whopping 3,615 signatures on the ground across both Mississippi and Alabama. St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and AltaMed in California were also hugely successful and collected over 3,700 signatures. Salud Family Health Center in Colorado was able to collect over 1,400 signatures in part by including a link to the online petition in staff email signatures.
Ongoing efforts to “Fix the Cliff” will take us down a long and demanding path with frequent calls to action in the months ahead. We will be counting on advocates to step up every time we send a NACHC Call to Action. Now more than ever, the future of the Health Centers Program will depend on the commitment and action of our advocates. Many thanks to all the State Primary Care Associations, Health Centers and Health Center Advocates that took this important first step and signed the “Fix The Cliff” petition.