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While political views surrounding our nation’s health care system are as polarized and contentious as ever, it is refreshing to see that our nation’s Community health centers continue to receive overwhelming bipartisan support. After all, why shouldn’t they? Health centers are an American success story; every day they save lives and stimulate local economies.

Here in Louisiana, 265 individual health center facilities serve more than 426,000 patients annually. They make it their mission to provide affordable primary care, dental, and behavioral health services to patients in many of our state’s vulnerable communities. Supported by federal grants, these facilities are governed by local, consumer-majority boards, enabling them to best meet the needs of their patients.

Louisiana’s community health centers are leading the fight against our state’s opioid epidemic, helping to drive down HIV/AIDS cases, developing innovative solutions to address social determinants of health, and employing telemedicine to serve our state’s most rural communities. In so many ways, they are on the front lines in responding to some of Louisiana’s most pressing public health needs.

Tulane, LSU graduate named new director of Baton Rouge Health District

As we celebrate National Health Center Week on August 4-10 next month, let's take this opportunity to shine a light on the work of community health centers and the important role they play in Louisiana’s health care system.

Let us celebrate the fact that community health centers fulfill a promise that we can all agree on: every member of our community deserves access to affordable, quality health care.

Gerrelda Davis

Louisiana Primary Care Association

Baton Rouge