ACCESS ALL-STARS BLOG: ARKANSAS
Each week, the CFAHC blog will feature Access All-Stars from each state who exemplify stellar advocacy action and commitment to grassroots advocacy efforts as part of the Access is the Answer Campaign. This week, we learn about the excellent work of our All-Stars from the state of Arkansas. The advocates listed below played a crucial role in the effort to fix the cliff by providing advocacy leadership in their communities and effectively communicating the value of Health Centers to lawmakers and beyond.
Arkansas’s Access All-Stars
Kathy Grisham, CEO, and Tyler Clark, Community Development Director
Community Clinic came out strong in the fight to fix the Health Center Funding Cliff. Kathy made the commitment early on to participate in advocacy organization-wide and complete the steps of the Access is the Answer campaign. She also persistently communicated with her Members of Congress, including Senator John Boozman for whom she serves as a NACHC Key Contact, as well as other Members of Congress, including Senator Cotton and Representative Womack who attended NHCW events at Community Clinic, regarding the potential impact of the cliff on Community Clinic and the surrounding communities they serve. Tyler showed his dedication and passion for advocacy by engaging Community Clinic’s staff as well as patients in the Access is the Answer campaign. He made sure staff knew what was going on in DC and trained front desk staff to ask patients to sign the Access is the Answer petition at intake. Thanks to the dedication of Kathy and Tyler as well as the efforts of numerous other Community Clinic staff, board members, and patients, Community Clinic collected over 1,500 petition signatures and 25 local support letters. Thank you, Community Clinic, for your incredible and ongoing advocacy!
CABUN Rural Health Services came out strong in the campaign to fix the cliff! The center, led by CEO Melanie Sheppard, collected over 850 Access is the Answer petition signatures and over 15 local support letters. To work on the Access is the Answer campaign, CABUN employees established an “Advocacy Committee” with the goal of reaching out to our employees, families, and patients for their support. The committee also circulated informational bulletins related to the health center funding cliff and encouraged patients to sign the Access is the Answer petition by explaining what the funding cliff would mean for each of CABUN’s 6 sites. CABUN also consistently responded to NACHC’s request to send letters, sign petitions, and complete other advocacy actions and regularly reached out to their Members of Congress to voice their opinions and express the desire to support the continued funding for health centers. Thank you for your commitment to advocacy, CABUN!
Dr. Susan Ward-Jones, CEO
West Memphis, AR
Susan’s continued advocacy has helped contribute to national advocacy success!