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All Posts in Category: Advocacy

Meet Up and Eat Up – Summer Meals for Kids

The Michigan departments of Education (MDE); Health & Human Services (DHHS); and Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) – along with their local partners – announce the availability of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for children across the state.

This program is crucial for the hundreds of thousands of Michigan students who rely on the federal school meals program during the school year. Once the final school bell rings, over 700 SFSP sites across Michigan help to bridge that gap until the start of school next fall.

Last year, 563,000 low-income Michigan children received meals during the school year, but less than 100,000 of those children (17.5%) ate meals or snacks at approved summer meal sites in their neighborhoods.

“Too many families across Michigan are struggling, and we can’t have children going hungry in the summer when programs like this are available,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, in stressing the importance of these crucial summer food programs for children. “Making families aware and informed is vital to keeping kids fed and healthy.”

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Campaign Launches to Improve Access to Care for Farmworkers and Families

The number of agriculture workers served by Health Centers in the U.S. is on the decline at an estimated 18%. During the 2015 National Farmworker Health Conference, a Call to Action was deemed necessary by Health Center executives, consumer board members, clinical leaders, and farmworker advocates to improve this number.

In an announcement made on May 22, 2015, every Migrant Health Center grantee will be challenged to increase the number of agricultural workers they serve by 15% each year for the next five years. Even Health Centers who do not receive 330G funding are asked to report their numbers for patients who meet the definition of “migrant” or “seasonal” agricultural worker per UDS criteria and definitions. The overall goal is to work collectively to increase Health Centers’ reach within this special population.

According to the 2014 Migrant Health Program Directory published by the National Center for Farmworker Health, five Migrant Health Center funded organizations in Michigan served 13,394* patients who were agricultural workers.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Center for Farmworker Health will serve as the lead agencies for the Ag Worker Access 2020 campaign and a task force will be appointed soon. Additional information will follow. In the meantime, comments and suggestions should be directed to Joe Gallegos at NACHC.

* Data from 2013.
Source: www.mpca.net

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Everyone is an Advocate – Community Health Center Alumni Association

As America’s Health Centers celebrate their 50th anniversary, a nationwide effort is underway through the new Community Health Center Alumni Association (CHCAA) to connect connect current and former providers, staff, patients, donors, vendors, volunteers, interns, elected officials, and others who have had a relationship with Community Health Centers. Membership is free and will keep you informed on alumni-related events around the country, enable you to connect with other alumni through a website, as well as have access to a CHCAA Facebook group and newsletter.

Through sharing experiences, CHCAA members have the opportunity to inspire others. Most importantly, this is a chance to be a part of a community working to strengthen Community Health Centers and help ensure their future. Read more

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Reminder: Thank Your Members of Congress Who Voted Yes on HR 2

Thank you AGAIN for your advocacy leading up to the recent passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law on April 16, 2015! Click here if you missed MPCA’s comment applauding the passage of this important bipartisan legislation that includes a 2-year extension of critical mandatory funding for Health Centers, as well as for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. The law also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2017. In addition, the law replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment methodology for Medicare with a new system that will gradually move Medicare toward value-based payment models. Click here for a summary of the SGR fix and the so-called Health Extenders included in the law.

If you have not done so already, please be sure to email or call your Members of Congress who voted yes on HR 2 to say thank you for supporting Health Centers! With mandatory funding in place through fiscal year 2017, the focus now is on the annual federal appropriations process, during which Congress will determine the amount of discretionary funding Health Centers will receive in fiscal year 2016.

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Join the Access is the Answer Campaign Today!

The Health Center Program is facing a 70% reduction in program funding at the start of fiscal year 2016 – now just months away. The Health Center Funding Cliff is real, it is written in current law, and it will affect every Health Center. The only way to fix the cliff is for Congress and the President to act to change the law and ensure Health Centers continue to have the support and resources they need to provide care to their current patients and millions of others who still lack access to care.

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