August 5-11th, Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. will host events in honor of National Health Center Week (NHCW)! Clinicas invites the Ventura Community to join them for a health fair at Del Sol Park, in Oxnard, on August 5th from 10am-4pm. Clinicas will offer free health screenings including glucose, blood pressure, dental, vision and more. The remainder of the week, August 6th-11th, the Ventura Community can visit any of the 14 Clinicas Health Centers throughout the County and participate in many of the FREE activities being offered. Clinicas hopes to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers as local solutions. The theme of this year’s NHCW is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Powering Healthier Communities,” to underscore how Community Health Centers provide access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States. They are strong partnerships of people, governments and communities who work together to meet the unique and diverse health conditions of the community. Health centers are run from the bottom up, by a patient-majority governing board who guides how limited resources can be effectively directed to meet the health care needs of the community.

One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers provide a health care home to over 20 million people at 8,000 sites nationwide. Their model of care was rated as one of the most effective programs by then-President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget. Indeed, presidents from both parties and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have long-recognized the value of health centers and supported their expansion.

With more health care homes in communities, we can reduce health care costs and unnecessary hospitalizations and visits to the hospital emergency rooms. According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), there are 60 million people in the country with limited or no access to primary care providers – a trend that shows no sign of improving with the economic recession.

“Studies show when illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and depression are not appropriately managed or prevented, they account for a significant portion of the skyrocketing costs for families and the entire health care system,” said Roberto S. Juarez, CEO. “America's Community Health Centers, like Clinicas del Camino Real Inc., have been leaders in showing the value of this approach as an effective way to address more needs, improve health, and contain costs. We provide a range of services on site: primary care services, OB/GYN, pediatrics, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, mental health services and other specialty services. Our patients not only get the care they need under one roof, but they are treated as individuals, with dignity and respect. This is what health care should be, and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week.”

Now more than ever public support is needed for health centers as Congress attempts to reduce the budget deficit with spending cuts to the program and changes to Medicaid that could further reduce access to preventive care for millions of people. To find out more, please visit www.nachc.org.

For more information on activities at Clinicas del Camino Real Inc., or the upcoming health fair, call (805) 647-6322 or visit the website at www.clinicas.org.

Contact: Alba Chacón Director of Health Education Phone : (805) 647-6322 achacon@clinicas.org