Saturday, December 4, 2021

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National Health Center Week 2021 begins

On August 8-14th, community health centers are celebrating National Health Center Week. The national campaign raises awareness about the mission, accomplishments, and impact of Community Health Centers in communities across America.

Started almost 60 years ago, community health centers now serve more than 30 million patients in over 12 thousand communities across the country. Located in both rural and urban settings, the clinics offer high-quality primary care through medical, dental, and behavioral health. They provide care to all individuals, with or without insurance and regardless of their ability to pay.

Community health centers are consumer-driven and patient-centered organizations that serve as a comprehensive and cost-effective primary care option for America’s most underserved communities. They not only provide health and wellness services, but they provide integrated care based on the unique needs of the communities they serve.

“America’s health centers, like Horizon, have been leaders in showing the value of this approach as an effective way to address more needs, improve health, and contain costs,” said Wade Erickson, Horizon Health Care chief executive officer.

Nationally, community health centers lower health care costs to the tune of 24 billion dollars a year, reduce rates chronic diseases, and stimulate local economies. 

“Horizon strives to focus on preventative health care for our patients,” said Erickson. “We want our patients to improve their health and stay healthy. Studies show when chronic illnesses are not managed or prevented, they account for a significant portion of the skyrocketing costs for families and the entire health care system.” 

After opening in the communities of Howard and Bryant in 1978, Horizon Health Care now serves 22 communities throughout South Dakota. In 2020, they served over 27,500 patients in their 32 clinics. Horizon provides patients with medical, dental, and behavioral health care while ensuring access to health care in rural communities. South Dakota Community Health Centers (including Horizon) have a significant economic impact on the state, creating a total of 639 full-time jobs and bringing over $112 million into the economy. 

For over 38 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 83,000 patient visits annually in 25 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River and Woonsocket. For more information, please visit

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