City, County, State, and Federal Officials Recognize Community Health Centers: Heartland Embraces Access to Care

The White House has officially proclaimed National Health Center Week 2023 (NHCW), recognizing the outstanding contributions of Community Health Centers in delivering critical healthcare services to millions of Americans. Running from August 6th through the 12th, this nationwide celebration showcases the remarkable achievements of these centers and underscores their unwavering support.

In addition to the recognition by President Joe Biden, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly also issued a proclamation, declaring August as Community Care Clinic Month. According to the proclamation, these clinics provide care for 1 in 9 Kansans, and generate nearly $400 million in economic activity in the state, including more than 1,900 jobs.

Heartland’s Chief Development Officer, Elizabeth Keever, joined the City Commission at their August 1, 2023, meeting, providing compelling remarks as they declared August 6 – 8 as Health Center Week. On Tuesday, the Douglas County Commission will issue their Health Center Week proclamation at the Douglas County Courthouse.

In Douglas County, nearly 10,000 residents are uninsured, disproportionately impacting residents based on their race and ethnicity, place, age, and income level. Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, like Heartland Community Health Center, provide high-quality, affordable, comprehensive primary and preventive health care in medically underserved communities, delivering value to, and having a significant impact on the health care system.

In Lawrence, Kansas, Heartland Community Health Center stands as a beacon of accessible, high-quality healthcare. As part of National Health Center Week, the local celebration aligns with Community Care Clinic Month, a testament to Heartland’s commitment to integrated health care services for all, regardless of income or insurance status.

As the country’s largest primary care network, Community Health Centers are the health care home for over 30 million Americans in over 14,000 communities across the nation. In 2022, Heartland Community Health Center provided care for more than 20,000 patients, through more than 62,000 visits to their clinics. 57% of these patients were either uninsured or using Medicare/Medicaid as their only form of health insurance. Additionally, through their in-house pharmacy, River City Pharmacy, patients were able to save more than $4.5 million on their medications, based on usual and customary pricing.

Health centers have more than doubled their behavioral health workforce in the last decade to meet Americans’ growing need for behavioral health services. Last year, Heartland provided behavioral health services to 4,498 patients.

Julie Branstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Community Health Center, expressed her gratitude for the center’s growth and achievements:

“As we celebrate Health Center Week, we take a moment to reflect on Heartland’s remarkable journey of growth and expansion. Our success is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our incredible staff, who have been the driving force behind our achievements, and I am immensely grateful for their tireless efforts. Together, we’ll continue to build a healthier future for our community.”

Join Heartland Community Health Center in Lawrence for the following National Health Center Week public events:

Art Unveiling at Panda Pediatrics

Date: Tuesday, August 8th

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Panda Pediatrics Details: Enjoy refreshments and explore the new, artistically transformed waiting room at Panda Pediatrics. The redesigned space features interactive design and artwork from esteemed artists, including John Sebelius, Angie Pickman, Jeromy Morris, Opal Morris, Milo Bitters, and Maya Smith.

“We believe that a positive environment can play a significant role in reducing stress for patients and families,” said Elizabeth Keever, Heartland’s Chief Development Officer. “Through this collaboration with local artists, we seek to enhance the overall healthcare experience for our patients and create a space that is exciting and comforting, making visits to the doctor a more positive experience for children and parents alike.”

Douglas County Proclamation Ceremony

Date: Tuesday, August 8th

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Douglas County Courthouse Details: Join the community at the Douglas County Courthouse as local officials issue the official Community Health Center Week proclamation.

Heartland Community Health Center invites everyone in Lawrence to celebrate National Health Center Week and join the movement for accessible, high-quality healthcare that truly makes a difference in the lives of the community.


Heartland Leadership with Gov. Kelly as she presents the official State proclamation for Community Care Clinic Month