Crusader Celebrates National Health Center Week
Gordon Eggers Jr.
President & CEO
Crusader Community Health
Join the hard-working professional “heroes” of Crusader Community Health and our 57,000 patients in celebrating National Health Center Week, August 12-18, 2018. This is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness of the mission and accomplishments of America’s 1,400 independent community health centers over the past five decades.
This year, the National Association of Community Health Centers invites all to celebrate incredible healthcare “HEROES” – individuals who live and breathe the Community Health Center mission. On a daily basis, they exceed the call of duty to support individual patients while providing quality healthcare for the community.
Nationally, Community Health Centers provide care at over 10,000 sites to 27 million individuals. One in twelve people in the United States get their care at a Community Health Center.
American healthcare is often fragmented and a difficult maze to negotiate. Community Health Centers are often a bright spot in America’s healthcare system. They pre-date the Affordable Care Act by many decades. Community Health Centers open their doors to all patients and offer affordable payment options.
Community Health Centers welcome everyone and work hard to provide integrated services under one roof. The goal is to provide easy access to quality care no matter who the patient is. Historically, patients have been individuals without much money in their purse or wallet.
The financial track record of Community Health Centers shows significant success. They are locally owned and operated small businesses that serve as critical economic engines. They power local economies with $45 billion in economic impact. They are often located in economically troubled communities.
Community Health Centers save approximately $24 billion in annual health system costs by reducing unnecessary, and expensive, hospital admissions and/or emergency room visits. Community Health Centers care for one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget. Community Health Centers also lower the cost of children`s primary health care by approximately 35%.
In Illinois, 1.4 million people (1 in 9) receive care at a Community Health Center from a dedicated healthcare “hero.” This comes in the form of a medical physician, dentist, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse practitioner, behavioral health counselor or pharmacist. All work as a multi-disciplinary team.
Crusader is part of the nation’s largest primary care network. Like all of them, Crusader is locally run and patient majority/board directed.
Patients come to Community Health Centers like Crusader from all walks of life. They are families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and veterans. They come from urban and rural communities. They come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, ethnicities, faiths and political beliefs.
On a daily basis, Crusader and its community health center counterparts stand on the healthcare front lines. All address the complex interplay of providing quality healthcare with the reality of poverty, unemployment, limited education, homelessness, mental health, substance use, immigration, poor nutrition and lack of public safety.
I am often asked: Why are Community Health Centers like Crusader so successful? The answer is simple. Our healthcare “heroes” practice “The Crusader Way.” They put an arm around the patient at the same time they put an arm around the patient’s problem(s).
Patients regularly tell Crusader providers they feel respected, understood and heard. 98% say they would recommend Crusader to others. Patients say Crusader is more than just a doctor’s office. We reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to help make patients’ health better, their lives easier and their future brighter.
The Rockford area is quite fortunate to have a homegrown, 46-year-old community health center that has matured, modernized and continues to work hard to meet our community healthcare needs. This is accomplished through our eight locations and with a staff of over 356 employee “heroes” who make patients feel welcome and at home.
Thank you for the community’s continued support of Crusader Community Health.