2013 closed with two important advocacy success stories! The week before the holidays NACHC staff and Health Center Advocates headed to a meeting with an Administration Representative to hand-deliver petition signatures collected by Health Center Advocates around the nation. The signatures were collected as part of the advocacy campaign to “Fix The Health Center Funding Cliff”, an ongoing effort that will continue throughout 2014. The petition requests that President Obama “Fix the Cliff” in his fiscal year 2015 budget in order to avoid a 70% reduction in Health Center funding due to occur next year. Our initial goal was to collect 25,000 signatures during the month of October – Health Center Advocates across the country took impressive action, collecting over 45,000 signatures and sending a very clear message to the President!
During the meeting, the senior White House staffer promised to share the results of the “Fix the Cliff” petition drive in October and ensure the Health Center Advocacy message was passed along to the White House Office of Management and Budget – the office responsible for drafting the President’s budget.
Health Center Advocates should be proud of this important recognition by a White House staffer and of the initial collection results of the “Fix the Cliff” petition. Make no mistake, the President received the message and is paying close attention to the important role of Health Centers in their communities.
As if delivering the petition signatures at the White House wasn’t enough, the White House also initiated a media blitz the week of December 9th to tout the important role Health Centers play in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The blitz resulted in more than 250 tweets using the #FQHC hashtag and generated more than 500,000 impressions (the reach of the communication) on Twitter. In addition, 11 key Members of Congress tweeted about the importance of Health Centers referencing the good work and quality care they provide in their communities. Check out the White House’s press release here.
Many thanks and major kudos to ALL Health Center Advocates for signing the petition, helping to collect petition signatures, and tweeting during the Health Center media blitz. The actions take by Health Center Advocates yielded important results and key success in 2013! Stay tuned for more activity and be prepared to take action as we kick off a very busy and demanding year for health center advocacy in 2014.