Day on the Hill

February 22, 2019

On Feb. 6, Iowa PCA along with ten health centers advocated for all of Iowa’s community health centers to several members of the Iowa Legislature in both houses. Our conversations with various Iowa Legislator were highly productive and positive.

 

Marissa Conrad, Primary Health Care, Inc. helped to present the expectations and issues that health centers face in Iowa.

“We had a great day at this year's Day on the Hill,” said Marissa Conrad from Primary Health Care “Our team had good luck with time and access to many of our elected officials and appreciated the time with Deputy Director Stier and Director Clabaugh.”

We presented our legislative agenda which called for a strong Medicaid program to ensure access to holistic, integrated care while continuing the great strides we’ve made in behavioral health accession. Our legislative agenda also included workforce objectives. These objectives help to bring awareness to the growing need of diverse primary care providers and the positions left unfilled at many of the health centers in Iowa.

“We talked—and listened—about the importance of Medicaid, workforce issues and how community health centers are vital to the safety net of Iowans, as we serve the most vulnerable populations,” said Joe Lock, President and CEO of Eastern Iowa Health Center. “These include the homeless, refugees, immigrants, and the working poor that endeavor to make due working multiple jobs but can’t afford health care.”

Imperative to our high-quality, affordable care is a strong workforce.  “The workforce request is one all health centers in Iowa can relate to, as both urban and rural locations struggle with attracting and retaining providers and other staff. We're also hopeful that Medicaid expansion is protected, especially as it relates to changes in dental benefits. We don't want to see changes that may reduce access to vital services for our patients."

After a very active day on the hill, we are confident that our representatives and senators value CHCs.