The Florida Association of Community Health Centers engages in advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels on behalf of community health centers and promotes public policy that expands access to health care services and improves health care outcomes for vulnerable populations such as the uninsured and underinsured, as well as underserved communities throughout the state of Florida. As part of these advocacy efforts, FACHC works closely with other health care providers and indigent health care advocacy groups.
FACHC activities that focus on the promotion of health access include the sponsorship of community health center educational events; participation on workgroups and committees charged with developing effective health policy strategies; development of community health center testimony on state and federal health policy issues. FACHC also produces information and statistics for the legislature, state agencies. The Association performs an annual distribution of fact sheets that detail the mission of community health centers, what services are provided by health centers and the more than 700,000 patients they serve.
The relationship between Florida Association of Community Health Centers, its members and government at both the state and federal levels is critical to the success of community health centers. FACHC's advocacy work is guided by the Legislative Committee, a group comprised of FACHC members and staffed by the FACHC CEO & President and the Director of Special Project and Legislative Affairs.
- Educate state and federal legislators about issues affecting the medically underserved and uninsured
- Educate state and federal legislators about issues affecting community health centers
- Advocate in support of legislation and policies which promote access to care at community health centers
- Work with Congress, the Legislature and the Executive Office of the Governor
- Work together with state agencies to implement and improve programs affecting health centers, the uninsured and underserved
- Increase access for health care for the medically uninsured and underserved
- Support community health centers in their role as a proven health care system
FACHC Legislative Affairs staff regularly testifies before various governmental and legislative bodies and works closely with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to execute our national legislative agenda. Visits are scheduled throughout the year with congressional members and staff; and state legislators in both Washington, D.C. and in Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of community health centers and the issues affecting them. In addition, FACHC routinely meets with peer organizations to exchange information and strategize for upcoming legislative sessions.
At the state level, staff often interacts with personnel from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Health and the Division of Emergency Management. However, the Association is occasionally involved in matters with other state agencies. At the federal level, the Association's interests lie mainly within the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the various agencies within such as the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
When necessary, the Association e-mails “Action Alerts” to membership requesting their assistance with legislators. Alert templates are provided that can be personalized and e-mailed directly to legislators.
Through its Legislative Affairs staff, FACHC has a strong presence at various levels within critical federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over many areas of policy concerning health centers and the communities they serve.