By Gil Muñoz, CEO, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, OPCA Board President
& Joan Watson-Patko, OPCA Executive Director

Community Health Centers have long stood as a beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. And, this year is no different.

In 2020, we’ve seen strong examples of the community health center’s vital role in Oregon’s communities and communities across the nation as they quickly pivoted and innovated to provide care in the face of COVID-19 and wildfires.

On the day after Election Day, as we await the outcomes of all races throughout the country and ensure that all votes have been counted, we remain encouraged by the fact that there was record turnout this year, despite the pandemic and attempts at voter suppression. The people of our great nation want their voices heard and have exercised their right to uphold the Democratic values of this country.

In a time where it seems we are more divided than ever, we are also filled with hope for the days ahead. The time is here for the American people to come together and heal the soul of our nation.

Community Health Centers play a key role play in this healing throughout our communities. The health center movement and mission are at our core and we will continue to advocate for the needs of our patients and communities, and provide comprehensive primary care services to all in need. We know that those we fight for and with will continue to need our support in amplifying their voices no matter what political party is in power.

There will be challenges ahead, yet in the powerful words of John Lewis, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Thank you to each and every one of you for all you do for your communities and we look forward to continuing to get into “good trouble” with you all on the path toward health equity.

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