Virtual Federal Advocacy
We joined thousands of other health centers advocates – virtually – from across the nation for our annual National Association of Community Health Centers’ Policy & Issues forum during the week of on March 15, 2021 to meet with the offices of our Alameda County members of Congress. We met with the offices of Representatives Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee and Eric Swalwell to thank them for their ongoing support of community health centers and the work that they do – especially in light of a global pandemic – of which they were on the frontlines of.
We also took the time to brief our Members of Congress with on-the-ground updates with regards to an equitable vaccine roll-out as well as the vital need for telehealth audio only phone visits continue to be reimbursed beyond the current public health crisis.
Virtual Week at the Capitol
As with most things in 2020, our annual Day at the Capitol was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through efforts with the California Primary Care Association and our member community health centers, we decided to coordinate virtual meetings with our elected officials.
During the week of May 25, 2020, we and our health centers, successfully met with all eight of our Alameda County state elected officials to discuss budget priorities as well as using this opportunity to educate them about the crucial role of our community health centers in COVID-19 response and recovery.
Day at the Capitol
We were joined by health center providers, patients and staff for our annual Day at the Capitol on April 28. This day-long advocacy effort in Sacramento was a great opportunity to meet with all of the offices of our Alameda County elected officials to discuss the great work our health centers are doing in the district, bring up important bills and issues they can support us on, as well as to thank them for their on-going support in ensuring and expanding access to primary care, mental health services and care coordination that benefits all our patients in our communities.
2018 Advocacy Highlights
Day at the Capitol
Health center providers, patients and staff joined Alameda Health Consortium to advocate for laws that matter most to us. In an energizing Day at the Capitol, our visits with lawmakers benefited from fantastic advocates from Community Health Center Network’s Care Neighborhood and Axis Community Health, Asian Health Services, La Clínica de La Raza, LifeLong Medical Care, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Inc. and West Oakland Health. We thank the staff and legislators who took time to discuss ensuring and expanding access to primary care, mental health services and care coordination to benefit the patients in our communities.
Advocates Take to Capitol Hill
On March 17, Consortium member health centers joined thousands of health center advocates on Capitol Hill to say “thank you” to Members of Congress for fixing the health center funding Cliff and to share stories of how our people-powered movement cares for 27 million patients nationwide. In visits to Representatives Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell and Ro Khanna, advocates discussed long-term funding for health centers and the urgent need to defend Medicaid and immigrant patients. Launching a new event this year, the five Bay Area Regional Consortia representing more than 900,000 patients hosted a congressional breakfast for advocates and congressional staff and members. We had much to celebrate, including our joint power to mobilize advocates with our policymaker partners and other allies.
Red Alert Day
On February 6, we joined health centers across the country in wearing red to support health centers on #RedAlert4CHCs day of action. Congress had still not acted on its commitment to fund our health centers which provide medical, dental and behavioral health services to 1 out of every 6 Medicaid recipients in our nation. The day of action came three days before the next opportunity to reauthorize funding to fix the Health Center Funding Cliff. On February 9th, Congress re-authorized a two-year extension of funding!
2017 Advocacy Highlights
Defending Affordable Care
How might people in the East Bay be affected by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act? Watch this video from ALL IN Alameda County to find out. “No one should have to worry about not having enough money to be well,” says one health center patient from LifeLong Medical Care. We couldn’t agree more. Thanks to persistent, loud advocacy by health center supporters, multiple attempts to repeal the bill in 2017 failed. But, we must remain vigilant in the face of future attempts to cut health care, including Medi-Cal benefits, from those who need it most.
The Alameda Health Consortium led a successful Day at the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 3rd with dynamic participation and moving stories from community health centers. Our delegation made a clear impression on lawmakers. After leaving their offices, the Consortium received requests from lawmaker staff for additional information. The 35-member team of health center leaders, physicians, board members and staff, including community health workers – representing all eight health centers in the Consortium – look forward to carrying their energy forward as we continue to stay loud in the face of uncertainty. In each visit delegates urged lawmakers to consider bills to improve care coordination and access to substance abuse and specialty mental health services. They also pointed out budget threats to the health care workforce, Newly Qualified Immigrant coverage, and pharmacy payment (340B). Finally, they led frank discussions about the need to defend federal attacks on health care and on our immigrant patients. With advocates committed to their patients and to the mission of providing healthcare for all, we can tackle the challenges ahead. View more photos from the day here.
On March 23rd, the 7th Anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Alameda Health Consortium coordinated lunchtime events at 55 health center sites across the East Bay to congratulate community health center staff for their critical contribution to building healthy communities. Several elected officials, and representatives from 9 others, went to the various sites to thank the more than 1,500 staff gathered at the simultaneous noontime events to share how Medi-Cal expansion under the ACA has boosted their ability to serve people in their neighborhoods who would otherwise have gone without care.
As members of Congress were home in their districts during winter recess, communities around the country gathered to voice their concerns, hopes and solutions for the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here in the East Bay, Alameda Health Consortium (AHC) worked with the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and Congressman Eric Swalwell to host two dynamic and well-attended “Save ACA” events on February 18, part of a nationwide day of action.
2016 Advocacy Highlights
Alameda Health Consortium member health centers are helping to register their communities to vote. We join other health centers, community organizations and health agencies to provide voter education opportunities and other resources. A healthy community votes!
Other Online Resources
- Community Health Votes
- Nonprofit Votes
- National Council of La Raza
- Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) MyHealthVotes
- Voter’s Edge – for information on what’s on your ballot
- Voto Latino – Media campaigns aimed at Latinos engaged in democracy. See their VoterPal app to learn how to register friends.
This event allows physicians, clinicians, directors, patients and health center advocates to engage in dialogue with legislators and legislative staff about budget and legislative priorities impacting community clinics and health centers.
Washington D.C., March 17-19, 2016: This event focused on the latest in state and federal government policies affecting Community Health Centers and health care for millions of Americans.