It is a bright, warm morning in rural southern Peru where women are streaming into the San Bernabe Health Center. As they enter, they are greeted warmly by the center's staff, then either head to the second floor to the bank, or remain on the ground floor to see one of several healthcare providers.
Veronica's story illustrates how clinicians can effectively address the social determinants of health by using tools that assess a patient's community and environmental circumstances, as well as by including non-medical providers as part of a health care team.
With an estimated 1.6 million New Yorkers remaining uninsured even after health reform is implemented fully, some health centers (and hospitals, too) will continue to see large shares of uninsured patients.
Considering that 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases, we commissioned a survey to get a better understanding of why these preventable illnesses continue to compromise America's health and wallet.
Community health centers fill a vital need in our health care system. Every day they work long hours to provide quality care at prices that people can afford, and in a way that takes into account the challenges that they face in their lives.
I spent a number of years in the medical field. I even ran medical practices. But even I was unaware until recently about one really good option for people struggling to find more affordable medical care -- the federally funded community health center program.
Just before 5 a.m., my hand phone is buzzing madly. I am up instantly, knowing that it must be an emergency: A newborn is having difficulty breathing. I am off and running down my stairs and out into the darkness.
In times of high unemployment, community health centers take on an even larger role. That's why it was so disheartening that, earlier this year, Congress reduced funding to health centers by $600 million.
The common sense ideas that President Obama has proposed will provide an immediate spark to our economy. That's why Congress should act quickly to pass the American Jobs Act and send it to the president to sign.
For some of our most vulnerable members of society, finding quality care at an affordable price can be difficult if not impossible. Yet thanks to community health centers, more and more Americans are getting the care they need.