Power of Partnership: Direct Relief Honored At National Community Health Center Conference

From left to right, Tom Van Coverdan, Ricardo Guzman, Thomas Tighe, Damon Taugher, Gary Wiltz M.D.

From left to right, Tom Van Coverdan, Ricardo Guzman, Thomas Tighe, Damon Taugher, Gary Wiltz M.D.

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2014 – The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) today honored Direct Relief, a humanitarian medical aid organization, for its unwavering commitment to supporting health centers across the United States that care for the nation’s most vulnerable people.

The award was presented at NACHC’s 45th annual Community Health Institute (CHI) in San Diego, Calif., an annual gathering that brings together thousands of health center leaders, opinion-makers, policy experts, clinicians and consumers to discuss the climbing demand for primary care as more people gain access to insurance, and to develop strategies to sustain public investment and expand health center capacity at a time when millions of newly insured need primary care medical homes.

In presenting the award, NACHC cited the organization’s extensive relief efforts to help Community Health Centers serve their current patient-base of 23 million people — one in 15 people living in the United States – both on an ongoing basis and during emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy. Immediately after the superstorm hit the East Coast, Direct Relief joined with NACHC to establish a special fund to support patients receiving care at health centers in affected communities.

“It makes us proud that Direct Relief has dedicated the full force of its programs in the United States to ongoing support of community health centers and other safety net providers,” said NACHC Board Chair Elect Ricardo Guzman.

Since starting its domestic program, Direct Relief has distributed $450 million in medicines and medical supplies and nearly $10 million in cash grants to its ever-growing network of more than 1,200 clinics and health centers in all 50 states. It now distributes more medical aid within the U.S. than any other country.

Direct Relief was previously honored at the 2007 NACHC CHI Conference for assistance to Community Health Centers and their patients in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

About National Association of Community Health Centers

Founded in 1970, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation’s network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which serve over 22 million people through over 9,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. For more information, please visit www.nachc.com.

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