AccelHealth, Cross Timbers Health Clinics, Inc., CEO Sherry Hill and two board members met with legislators in Washington this past March to share the facts on Community Health Centers and their impact on rural America.

“Legislators in Washington and in Austin can’t really do anything for us if they don’t know who we are and what we do,” said Hill. “Once they see what we do and we give them education regarding the numbers of constituents we see in their districts, we can usually count on them to work with us.”

The NACHC (National Association of Community Health Clinics) meetings addressed issues concerning the future of CHC’s Health Centers and Medicaid, Health Center Funding, Health Center Workforce and Health Center Needs for Quality Care.

The 2015 data on county-level economic activity driven by CHC’s within district 11 reports; CHC’s generated 811 jobs with a personal income of $20,139,405 and an economic output of $63,321,712. At a national level, over 1,400 health center organizations serve nearly 10,000 urban and rural communities. Health Centers are the health care home for over 25 million patients — including 7.6 million children and nearly 300,000 veterans. Health Centers employ more than 180,000 Americans and generate billions of dollars both in economic impact and overall cost-savings for the health care system.

For over 50 years, America’s Community Health Centers have delivered high-quality, affordable, primary and preventive health care to all members of their communities. Across Texas, community health centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers or FQHC’s) are the economic engines in their communities, creating jobs and generating dollars in the local economy.

Hill has served among the TACHC’s health centers for the past 25 years. In 2012, she brought her passion for CHC’s to Cross Timbers Health Clinics where she helped rebrand the clinic’s new name “AcceIHealth” while creating a more robust operation. Hill is driven by the AccelHealth motto “Affordable Healthcare for the Whole Family.”

“Rep. Conaway has really come on board compared to prior years,” Hill said. “We really connected during the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum trip, once we showed him the fact sheets and explained to him that six different FQHC corporations served 59,182 patients last year. Additionally, he was able to better grasp the reality when he was able to see the numbers of visits and dollars generate.”

NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden recently sent out a statement: “As the healthcare debate moves to the United States Senate, we urge Senators to focus on a clear goal: to improve the nation’s health care system so that care is more equitable, affordable, and accessible to every patient in this country who needs it. NACHC and our members stand ready to work tirelessly with any and all policy makers to move toward this goal. We have had productive meetings with House Leadership on these issues and believe they are willing to address possible shortfalls in this legislation as the debate and deliberations continue.”