Celebrating Community Health Centers
This month celebrates National Health Center Week, and this year’s theme, “Community Health Centers: The Chemistry for Strong Communities,” encourages everyone to #ValueCHCs. For 50 years community health centers have played an integral role in the health and well-being of the people they serve. Across the country there are more than 11,000 community health centers who serve more than 30 million people with comprehensive care annually. By providing a range of services in areas that are often underserved, community health centers increase access to the kind of high-quality care that everyone deserves, no matter their zip code. So, it makes sense that research proves that the health outcomes of those living in areas with community health centers improves.
In Missouri, a six-year initiative called The Right Time understands how access to high-quality health care impacts a person’s ability to pursue the future they want. The Right Time seeks to empower individuals to take control of their own health by improving information about, and removing barriers to, contraceptive services, recognizing that decisions always rest with the patient. Of the 32 participating health centers that make up The Right Time’s network, 14 locations are community health centers.
Led by the Missouri Family Health Council (MFHC) and an initiative of the Missouri Foundation for Health, The Right Time is committed to addressing the persistent health disparities in unintended pregnancy and among marginalized populations. All of their partner health centers provide access to birth control for free or at a low-cost. No insurance? No problem. The main priority of The Right Time health centers is to help patients find the method that works best for their bodies and their preferences.
These health centers also offer telehealth services, because sometimes it’s hard to take time out of the day to drive to a doctor’s appointment. They also offer same day insertion for IUDs and the implant, so patients don’t have to schedule a future follow up appointment to get their method.
In short, The Right Time believes birth control gives you the power to make your own plans, on your own schedule, and on your own terms. And what’s better than that?