New Medicare cards are coming! Medicare is mailing new cards between April 2018 and April 2019. The new card has a Medicare Number unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. Your new card will automatically come to you—just make sure Social Security has your most up-to-date address. For more information, visit go.medicare.gov/new card.
On Tuesday February 6, hundreds of advocates will be in DC meeting with Congress and demanding a fix to the Health Center Funding Cliff. On that day, we are calling on all Health Center Advocates to wear red in support of health centers.
Over four months ago, Congress failed to extend funding for Health Centers and fix a 70% funding cliff. This failure to act has put 9 million patients, 50,000 jobs, and nearly 3,000 health center sites at risk. The time is now for Congress to act and extend critical funding for health centers. Read the latest on the health center funding cliff on NACHC’s blog.
What can you do on 2/6 to add your voice to the millions of patients, staff, partners and supporters that depend on health centers?
Join the #RedAlert4CHCs Thunderclap. By joining the Thunderclap, you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading a call to action through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr that cannot be ignored.
Use local media to spread the word. Access templates to share a media advisory or press release or publish an op-ed to share your health center’s plans for the Day of Demonstration.
Wear red! Don’t have a red shirt? Wear a red scarf, pin, hat, or other accessory.
Ask your friends, partners, colleagues and others to wear red too. Email them here so they know how critical this act of demonstration is.
Post to social media. Get a group together to take a photo with this sign (click here for PDF version), and Tweet or post to Facebook with #RedAlert4CHCs #FixTheCliff #ValueCHCs. Sample Tweets are below along with images you can share.
MedNorth offers nurse practitioner opportunity to help where he helps people who have no other health care options.
By Terah Wilson StarNews Correspondent
From a very young age Erin Williamson knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life.
“I wanted to be a nurse practitioner serving medically underserved people. Ideally, lower-income people who have limited access to health care,” Williamson said. “It is the dream job that I’ve had since I was 16. Mainly because growing up poor we got to learn what it was like to have limited access to good health care. You don’t know how that feels unless you are in that situation where you’re treated differently.”
Williamson is the seventh of eight kids. He has six older sisters and one younger brother. He loved growing up in a big family but quickly learned there were hardships that went along with it. His family’s income challenges made his access to quality health care difficult.
Williamson attended Laney High School where he took health occupations classes. He graduated with a Nursing Assistant certificate and went straight to work. Due to the hardships he faced as a child, getting a job right out of high school was very important to him. His first health care job was at Liberty Commons Nursing Center where he worked the midnight shift. He met his wife, Rachel, and continued to work there while she finished her college degree.
Williamson and his wife then moved to Greensboro where he attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating in 2004 with a degree in nursing. After graduation, the couple moved back to Wilmington where Williamson took a position with New Hanover Regional Medical Center on the adult inpatient surgical floor. He held the job for five years while he worked on his master’s in nursing at UNCW.
Toward the end of his master’s studies, Williamson had to choose a practice where he would complete the clinical part of his training. With careful consideration he chose MedNorth Health Center, which at the time was still called New Hanover Community Health Center.
MedNorth receives federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to provide a full spectrum of primary and preventive health care services (including ancillary and enabling services) to medically underserved populations, in New Hanover and surrounding counties in Southeastern North Carolina. Patients receive services regardless of their ability to pay. Services are designed to cover prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric life cycles.
Williamson knew this was the right place for him. “I liked the community health center because being downtown we get an interesting mix of homeless people, professors, other professionals that work downtown, and a lot of people who have no other place to go for healthcare,” he said.
In 2009, when Williamson finished his master’s, Williamson went to work at MedNorth. “I went straight from being a student to being a nurse practitioner,” Williamson said. “I’ve been there ever since.”
He splits his time between the downtown clinic and MedNorth’s clinic at First Fruits Ministries, 2750 Vance St., on Thursdays. His favorite part of his job is providing the compassion and care that many lower-income people never get to experience.
“I love what I do because I get to serve other people and I get to stay up-to-date with newer technology, medicines, and research,” he said. “Healthcare is always evolving so I get to stay on the cutting edge of things like that, but at the same time I get to sit down with somebody one-on-one and talk with them about how they can improve their health and improve their life.”
There are less than 10 more days (and fewer legislative days) before we lose 70% of federal funding to Community Health Centers. NC’s most vulnerable people could lose access to health care. We need to turn up the volume on emails, calls, and personal visits to congress.
It takes 7 minutes to make a difference in the lives of Community Health Center patients by calling and emailing your elected officials.
3 minutes: Call Senator Burr’s office 1-866-456-3949.
Say: Community Health Centers are about to lose 70% of their federal funding. This will lead to more than 200,000 North Carolinians losing access to healthcare services and more than 1500 people losing their jobs. [If you think you may be one of them, say that, too!] I am asking Senator Burr to fix the health center funding cliff before September 30th. Don’t delay it!
2 minutes (It’s quicker once you have the hang of it!): Call Senator Tillis’ office 1-866-456-3949.
Say: THANK YOU to Senator Tillis for being a leader in support of Community Health Centers and for signing the Community Health Center support letter. Now, I am asking him to make sure a long-term solution to the Community Health Center funding cliff is reached before September 30th.
2 minutes: Call your Representative’s office (1-866-456-3949 will link you based on your zip code).
Say: Community Health Centers are about to lose 70% of their federal funding. This will lead to: More than 200,000 North Carolinians losing access to healthcare services and more than 1500 people losing their jobs. [If you think you may be one of them, say that, too!] I am asking Representative [INSERT] to cosponsor HR 3770, the bill that would extend Community Health Center funding, and make sure to fix the health center funding cliff before September 30th. Don’t delay it!
Over 50 events around North Carolina are planned as part of National Health Center Week (NHCW). The national campaign runs August 13-19th with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of North Carolina’s community health centers and those across the country over the course of more than five decades.
North Carolina’s community health centers play a vital role in our state’s healthcare safety net. They are innovators in healthcare delivery and feature a patient-centered medical home model that utilizes care teams and enabling services to help patients address their medical and social needs. Today, they play the following role in NC:
Serve more than 480,000 patients (41% uninsured, 26% Medicaid, 13% Medicare and 20% private insurance).
Offer sites in 85 of North Carolina’s 100 counties
Provide medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health and substance abuse services
Participate in new delivery systems, such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Accountability Care Organizations and a Health Center Controlled Network that analyzes patient data to improve care
Generate & support over 3,400 jobs across the state
Have the staff expertise & outreach ability to help patients as the state moves through its Medicaid transformation
Nationally, community health centers:
Produce $24 billion in annual health system savings
Reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
Treat patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit
Maintain patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent
Serve more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget
Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in their communities. In North Carolina, where our state did not expand Medicaid coverage to uninsured adults with incomes at or below $138% of the federal poverty level, community health centers remain one of the few healthcare providers willing to treat the
uninsured. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing healthcare costs, and reducing chronic disease, leaders in Congress have declared health centers a model of care that offers a “bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems” facing our nation.
There are NHCW events scheduled across North Carolina and the country, including health fairs, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, visits by members of Congress and state officials and much more.
To learn more about NHCW and the listing of events please visit: www.healthcenterweek.org.
You can also follow the conversation using #NHCW17 or #ValueCHCs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Events such as the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew commonly result in the loss of important documents. North Carolinians can use the following resources to replace lost or damaged documents and records.
Individuals, including homeowners, renters, and business owners, in the designated counties who suffered loss or damages due to Hurricane Matthew may register for assistance online atwww.DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), the number is also 1-800-621-3362. For people using TTY, the number is 1-800-462-7585.
Dial 211 to speak with a trained call specialist about Hurricane Matthew assistance in your area; the service is free, confidential and available in any language. Call 511 for the latest road conditions or check the ReadyNC mobile app, which also has real-time shelter and evacuation information. For updates on Hurricane Matthew impacts and relief efforts, go to ReadyNC.org or follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook. People or organizations that want to help ensure North Carolina recovers can visit NCdisasterrelief.org or textNCRecovers to 30306.