GLFHC Observes National Health Center Week with Events

John M. Silva, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center president and chief executive officer.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) is observing National Health Center Week with a series of free awareness events.

Launched Sunday in Lawrence, GLFHC clinical sites are holding events ranging from health fairs to meetings, outreach to education “with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of GLFHC over more than 30 years in the community,” according to a statement. Within WHAV’s listening area, GLFHC’s Methuen Family Health Center at Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, hosts an outdoor event with health screenings and carnival games, Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Next Saturday, Aug. 13, GLFHC also provides information to the public during the “Healthy Living Expo 2016,” held by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck, between Merrimack Street and Bailey Boulevard, Haverhill.

“Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction,” said GLFHC President and CEO John Silva.

Meanwhile, local, state and federal legislators will “have a chance to learn more about the services and programs offered” during a “legislative luncheon,” Wednesday, Aug. 10, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at GLFHC’s One Griffin Brook Drive, Methuen, offices.

The awareness campaign is also held in cooperation with the City of Lawrence and Mayor Daniel Rivera’s Health Task Force.

Health centers started more than 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” the statement added. “Today, they have compiled a significant record of success that includes producing $24 billion in annual health system savings’ reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room; treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit; maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; generating $26.5 billion in economic activity and over 230,000 jobs and reducing infant mortality rates.”

“Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing healthcare costs, and reducing chronic disease, leaders in Congress have declared health centers a model of care that offers a ‘bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems’ facing our nation.”