Aug. 05

Shining a Light on Health Center Volunteers for National Health Center Week

Today’s post is by Jason Patnosh, associate vice president of the National Association of Community Health Centers and national director of Community HealthCorps.

An AmeriCorps volunteer tends to a patient.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Since the founding of Community Health Centers, small groups of volunteers have sat around dinner tables or in church basements to figure out how they can improve the health care of their underserved residents.

 Today, these volunteers are vital to the more than 9,000 Community Health Centers across the country, which serve more than 22 million patients in largely underserved communities. For each weekday during National Health Center Week, August 11-17, 2013, Points of Light will recognize a health center volunteer or team of volunteers for the invaluable work they do with a Daily Point of Light Award.

Recently former President George H. W. Bush returned to the White House accompanied by wife Barbara and son Neil to join President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in celebrating the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award winners. (Watch the video.) President Bush established the award 24 years ago to honor Americans participating in volunteer service.

Partnering with Points of Light during National Health Center Week allows the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to recognize the impact of board members, AmeriCorps, VISTA, youth volunteers and all those who give of their time to improve the lives of the residents served by Community Health Centers. NACHC was recently awarded funding from the Corporation of National and Community Service for its 19th year of its AmeriCorps program, the Community HealthCorps.

For National Health Center Week and beyond, make sure to check out to learn about the newest Daily Point of Light awardees, and consider nominating a volunteer in your community. Spread the word on Twitter about the award or about someone making a difference in your life by using the hash tag #MyPointofLight.

To learn more about NACHC and community health centers, visit Find out more about National Health Center Week by visiting and tweeting about health center events using #NHCW2013.

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