CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Events
Health Center Advocates Unite for Day at the Capitol 2019
On April 24th, more than 300 community health center advocates from across the state filled the halls of the State Capitol in a united show of strength during our annual Day at the Capitol. This year’s advocacy agenda focused on CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates’ three sponsored bills that would further improve access to care for California’s communities, as well as budget issues including highlighting the importance of the 340B Drug Discount Program and the Value Based Payment Program.
The 2019 Day the Capitol featured a number of exciting activities, including the Health Center Champion Awards presentation on the Capitol steps where Carmela Castellano-Garcia, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates President and CEO, passionately reminded advocates that we have a moral imperative to act on behalf of health centers and patients. Five legislators received health center champion awards this year and while State Senator Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senator Mike McGuire were unable to join the awards presentation, we were joined by Senator Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry, Assemblymember Jim Wood who all shared with the crowd just how vital health centers are to the health care delivery system and communities in California. Each attendee demonstrated their commitment to community health centers and pledged to continue fighting for health centers and the communities they serve.
Additionally, a health fair featuring 18 health centers from throughout the state highlighted the important work health centers are doing in areas ranging from behavioral health integration to social determinants of health. Finally, the ever-popular “coffee with clinics” was held on the Capitol grounds, where legislators and their staff could enjoy a complementary gourmet beverage and visit with our health centers at the health fair.
One of the most exciting elements of the day was the tented lunch held on the Capitol lawn featuring Deputy Cabinet Secretary Richard Figueroa as this year’s keynote speaker. He gave an inspiring speech sharing his and Governor Newsom’s commitment to improving health care in California. To cap off the day, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates hosted a legislative reception on the patio of Cafeteria 15L for health center members, legislators, and staff to enjoy the end of an exciting, productive day.
2019 NACHC Policy & Issues
At the end of March, California’s health center advocates arrived in Washington, D.C. for the annual National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Policy and Issues Forum (P&I). California kicked off the week at the state delegation meeting where we were joined by Dr. Wendell Primus, Senior Policy Advisor on Budget and Health issues to Speaker Nancy Pelosi who acknowledged the important role health centers play in the health system. Health center leaders in California met with representatives the following days and thanked them for their continued commitment and reiterated to their representatives the important role health centers play in keeping communities healthy.
During NACHC’s P&I Awards Ceremony, Louise McCarthy, President and CEO Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, was inducted into NACHC’s Grassroots Hall of Fame. This is a well-deserved award for a tremendous advocacy leader.
Additionally, Caleb Sandford, Chief Operations Officer for Tiburcio Vasquez, and Sendy Sanchez, Director of Policy and Projects for the Community Health Association of Inland Southern Region, were also presented the award for NACHC’s emerging leaders, both of whom have demonstrated their commitment to leading advocacy efforts in California.
CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates would like to thank the health center advocates who traveled to P&I this year and those who helped advance the cause from home during national call in-day. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates will continue to advocate for policies that promote healthy people and healthy communities.