HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Access to health care is crucial to the overall health of a community.
And as we close out National Health Center Week, we look at why it's important people know about their health resources year-round!
Central North Alabama Health Services, Inc., Thrive Alabama, and Happi Health teamed up to host a fun & wellness festival to observe National Health Center Week. There seemed to be a common theme as to why all of them were there...
Easy access to health care keeps a community healthy
Mary Marr, CEO of Thrive Alabama, says, "For us to have a healthy community we need people to have primary health care, so that they have somewhere to go. We don't want people to go to the emergency room for their primary care, and individuals who don't have any insurance that's where they typically go."
Especially for those who may not receive care if it wasn't for these community health centers.
Nicole Kuzmicic, Integrative Programs Officer for CNAHSI, explains, "wWe are the safety gap in the community. We take care of people who fall 200% below the poverty guidelines. And so that is kind of our niche in the market."
But this care is not only for the uninsured - everyone could use a little help...
Paola Rios, Director of PR & Marketing for CNAHSI, says, "We also see all levels of insurance. If people are unde insured we can help. We also help people who have Medicaid, Medicare or commercial insurance. We're really just here to increase access to care, to everyone in our community because we believe that health care is essential."
Sometimes services like these can be politicized and deemed as "free help" but at the root of it all, health professionals say the purpose behind these centers is to help those who need medical attention but cannot afford or access it.
Cheryl Wright, HR Representative with Happi Health, says, "Because they deserve care as well. They are people just like the ones that are insured, and we care about them as well and we want them to know that when they come in to Happi, we have a sliding fee and they are, they will be well taken care of."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.
The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC.
If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.