WASHINGTON, D.C.— Advocates for Community Health (ACH), a membership organization for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) focused on visionary policy and advocacy initiatives to drive the Health Center Program of the future and transform the nation’s health care system, will celebrate National Health Center Week (NHCW) from August 4 to 10, 2024 with a week of grassroots advocacy. The purpose of this week of action is to urgently call on Congress to support the nation’s health centers by creating a clear framework and protections for community health centers (CHCs) under the 340B drug discount program and with increased program funding to ensure the nation’s largest network of primary care providers can continue to care for its patients. The week of action will culminate with the inaugural David B. Vliet Changemaker Award given to an outstanding CHC member advocate.

Every August, health centers convene locally and nationwide to celebrate and increase awareness of America’s largest network of primary care providers. This network encompasses 1,400 community health centers and more than 300,000 employees at 15,000 delivery sites serving more than 31 million patients. These centers play a crucial role in ensuring equitable health care access for diverse populations.

“We believe that the best way to celebrate health centers during National Health Center Week is active advocacy, calling on Congress to provide increased funding to ensure the future of the Community Health Center program and, equally important, to safeguard vitally important resources like the 340B Drug Discount Program,” stated ACH CEO Amanda Pears Kelly. “During this week of celebration and action, the ACH member network will actively engage their members of Congress to ask for swift action to support increased funding for community health centers ahead of the looming funding expiration and to enact ACH’s 340C legislative proposal to maintain 340B as a vital resource for health centers in caring for vulnerable patients.”

ACH asks Congress to reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund at $5.8 billion a year for at least three years and to support $3.2 billion in discretionary funding in Fiscal Year 2025 through the yearly appropriations process. This funding will help health centers stay afloat while allowing them to respond to the ever-increasing need to expand access, build infrastructure, grow their workforce, and spearhead innovative care delivery models.

The theme for this year’s NHCW is “Powering Communities Through Caring Connections.” In recognition of this, ACH will honor a community health advocate who empowers their community by advocating for the underserved.

“We acknowledge that those who provide quality care to patients and communities daily are best qualified to help guide members of Congress as they create, debate, and enact health care legislation meant to support those very communities and constituents. With this in mind, we are pleased to share the stories of exceptional community health advocates from the nominees we receive during NHCW,” she added.

The deadline to submit a community health advocate nomination for the David B. Vliet Changemaker Award is July 26, 2024. Nominations can be submitted at

ACH will announce the award winner following National Health Center Week on August 12, 2024.


About the David B. Vliet Changemaker Award
Established in 2024 by Advocates for Community Health (ACH), the David B. Vliet Changemaker Award honors health professionals working in community health centers and supporting affordable and equitable health access for all. Named after David B. Vliet, MBA, retired chief executive officer of Lifelong Medical Care in Berkley, California, and founding member of ACH, this award honors growing community advocates who are changemakers and have advanced health equity and high-impact health initiatives while providing exceptional patient care.

About Advocates for Community Health
Advocates for Community Health (ACH) is a membership organization for federally qualified health centers that strives to advance the delivery of health care to underserved populations and to achieve health equity for patients and communities in need. We are committed to working collaboratively to advance well-defined and forward-thinking policies at the national level. By leveraging the wisdom, agility, and innovation of our members, ACH brings bold leadership to drive the future of the Health Center Program and to transform the American healthcare system. To learn more, please visit www.advocatesforcommunityhealth.org.

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