Marin Community Clinics and Ritter Center, two of Marin’s most essential community-focused nonprofit organizations that lift up those in need, teamed up Monday, August 9th, in support of National Health Center Week (NHCW) – an annual celebration raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of health centers. Each day of the week (August 8-14) represents a specific focus area, and the Clinics have events planned throughout the week.
Monday was NHCW’s Health Care for the Homeless Day, and Ritter Center hosted Marin Community Clinics’ oral hygiene providers to offer free dental screenings and basic oral hygiene procedures on-site from 1:00-3:00pm.
The organizations partnered to raise awareness of the many health care services offered to the community, including low income and homeless individuals, and provided oral health screenings to check anyone interested for possible cavities, gum disease, and other risk assessments. Maintaining oral health is a proven leading health indicator that significantly impacts disease prevention, medical costs, and overall quality of life. Patients and community members that participated received giftbags including a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, masks, and healthy snacks, as well as information on how to receive follow-up care at Marin Community Clinics.
The Clinics and Ritter Center serve many mutual patients through primary care, specialty care, substance use treatment, or case management services. Both organizations are deeply invested in ensuring everyone in Marin County has access to affordable, quality healthcare, regardless of insurance status, and the partnership between the organizations has strengthened through the County’s Whole Person Care Pilot program – the collaborative and outcomes-focused coordinated system of care across health and social sectors.
The growing demand for the types of vital services Federally Qualified Health Centers provide has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. “No one should suffer the awful pain that can come along with neglecting oral health,” said Clinics Senior Dental Operations Director Racquel Beltran, “we’re here because we want to help our most vulnerable population, and let them know about the wide scope of services we offer.”
NHCW serves as a platform to honor and celebrate the work being done on behalf of the community’s most vulnerable while raising awareness of the innovative ways that health centers are providing high-quality health care, improving health outcomes, and narrowing health disparities. Marin Community Clinics and Ritter Center plan to participate throughout the week, with various activities planned for each day.
National Health Center Week Focus Days:
Sunday, 8/8: Public Health in Housing Day
Monday, 8/9: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
Tuesday, 8/10: Agricultural Worker Health Day
Wednesday, 8/11: Patient Appreciation Day
Thursday, 8/12: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
Friday, 8/13: Health Center Staff Appreciation Day
Saturday, 8/14: Children’s Health Day
Touching Lives Through Health: Our work is made possible by generous gifts from community members like you. When giving to Marin Community Clinics, you’re improving the health of our patients and our community. Make a lasting impact and give today!