Neighborhood health

FILE — Sandra Velasquez, Healthplanfinder coordinator for Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, helps Mary Jean Walter with some questions about health insurance Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

To the editor — Elected officials across the country will join communities in celebrating National Health Center Week from August 4-10, demonstrating that it is possible to move beyond the partisan divide over health care and support a program vital to our communities.

Health centers like Yakima Neighborhood Health Services provide preventive and primary care services to 28 million people nationwide.

Health centers are healers and innovators, addressing factors that may cause poor health, such as poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, malnutrition and unemployment. At YNHS, as we prepare for our 45th anniversary next year, we continue to collaborate with hospitals, local and state governments, social, health and business organizations to improve health for the medically vulnerable.

I’d like to thank our Yakima County state legislative delegation for supporting our medical/dental clinic planned for the homeless veterans housing project at the old Armory and for recognizing the need to fund behavioral health care at YNHS.

I am also grateful that Rep. Dan Newhouse and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have shown leadership in supporting/sponsoring legislation that will protect health centers from losing a major part of their funding at the end of September.


President and CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services