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It is the third day of  National Health Center Week 2011.  A week that happens every second week of August that allows Federally Qualified Health Centers, Health Center Look-a-Likes, Community Health Centers and all others who provide primary care for the underserved to celebrate.

I had my first taste of NHCW yesterday by joining HealthNet staff at 3 different locations for staff appreciation lunches.  Last year, we didn’t do much for Health Center Week, but my experience at the P&I Forum and more specifically the Advocacy Leadership Program gave me a sense of pride and appreciation for all health center staff members.  So, we got to do SOMETHING! This is OUR week, the President said so!

So, I hope by now you have noticed that calling National Health Center Week a Spirit Week for Grownups was not meant in a bad way.

photo by RobotSkirts

Remember back in high school when you had the entire week leading up to the homecoming football game devoted to showing spirit for your school.  Usually you got the whole week out of uniform or even had themed days like Come as You Are Day (everyone wear your pajamas!).

National Health Center Week is just that, a special week out of the year where you get to do things a little different, hold a celebration picnic or a series of staff lunches so that staff don’t have to pack their lunch or have a legislator speak to staff about the importance of health centers.

This Spirit Week for Health Centers is a good thing and every health center throughout the nation should partake.  It could be as small as sending out a daily email to all staff reminding them that it IS National Health Center Week.  After the week is over, staff will be energized for the BIG GAME, which in the grown up world lasts longer than a Friday night.

In the theme of Spirit Week – here is a word from one of our cheerleaders! Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. (I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her a cheerleader)

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