Community Health Centers Poised for Expansion
Wiltz concedes that community health centers have done an inadequate job of "tooting our own horns." He vows to expand their public profile during his two-year chairmanship.
"We represent 22 million people and I don't think all of our voices have been fully heard," he says. "I would like to see us get more media savvy and have people understand that when you touch one in every 15 Americans that says a lot."
He takes solace knowing that community health centers have endured for nearly a half-century because they've demonstrated their worth and no one else steps in to fill the need.
"When you look back on our beginnings in 1965, no one expected us to thrive and survive. We have a history of being creative and finding solutions. I don't have the exact road map, but I can tell you that we have enough talented and creative people and enough force and drive that we are going to make it happen one way or another."
"We are like that inscription below the Statue of Liberty: 'Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.' No one else wants to deal with them, but we have always provided a welcoming door. That is part of our DNA."
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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