Health Care Advocacy

Lynn Woolsey at Peaceful Demonstration for Healthcare Reform

West County Health Centers advocates for health care and public awareness of community health centers on national, state, county, and local levels. Sometimes our advocacy efforts require us to mobilize our volunteers to show support for health care issues that concern our patients and participate in annual health care events in a variety of ways.

Our local advocacy efforts have included peaceful demonstrations in Guerneville, Sebastopol, and Occidental. We have a need for volunteers to hold signs supporting community health centers for public awareness as a continuation of lobbying efforts at the state and national levels for healthcare reform during peaceful demonstrations.

The Redwood Community Health Coalition (RCHC) is a coalition of health centers in Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, and Marin counties of which West County Health Centers is a member.  RCHC works with legislators, policy makers, health care providers, health plans, and many other stakeholders to define and shape policies that benefit the health of our communities and the people we serve.

We extend invitations from RCHC and their partners for public support to our volunteers. Through RCHC we have invited volunteers to participate in Candlelight vigils in Santa Rosa during Wednesday Night Market in courthouse square and other peaceful demonstrations.

At the state level we belong to the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), which represents community health centers throughout the state of California to our state legislature.

Every year we attend a “Day at the Capitol” with appointments with our state representatives to discuss issues involving community health centers. In some cases, such as the state budget cuts that wiped out funding for our dental programs, the CPCA asks us to mobilize supporters to come to Sacramento and show support at the state capitol in peaceful demonstrations.

On a national level we belong to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), which represents community health centers throughout the United States to the federal government.

Every year NACHC hosts a National Health Center Week the second week in August to promote public awareness of the contributions of community health centers. In 2017 National Health Center Week will be August 7th thru 13th. West County Health Centers celebrates National Health Center Week annually with the goal of raising the public profile of America’s Health Centers and generating community pride and support.

In 2009, West County Health Centers hosted a public rally in Guerneville as part of a “Day of Action” during National Health Center Week which included a visit and speech by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey in support of National Health Care Reform. The NACHC encourages us to celebrate with special events such as health fairs, open houses, media events, receptions, and public forums all of which require volunteer support. Please sign up on our volunteer page and check the advocacy box if you are interested in this type of volunteer opportunity.