This week, Cross Timbers Health Center Stephenville will celebrate National Health Center Week 2011 by inviting citizens to tour the new facility at 135 River North Blvd. The open house will be held from 4:30- 6 p.m. Tuesday and is open to everyone. 

National Health Center Week (NHCW) takes place from Aug. 7-13, and is an annual event to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of community health centers. Cross Timbers Health Center Stephenville is one of 69 community health centers across Texas that provides high quality, affordable care at over 330 service delivery sites. These sites across Texas generated more than 6,700 full-time equivalent positions across the state. Community Health Clinics such as this are non-profit facilities governed by a local board comprised of local citizens. A majority of the board members must be patients of the clinic.

"Health centers like ours are known for their innovative approach to medicine," said Karen Hill, M. D. "We offer one-stop shopping where preventive and primary health care are located alongside pharmacy, dental and mental health services. Fortunately for us in Stephenville, we are also partnering with Tarleton State University to provide educational opportunities and practice sites for many of their students as well."

Aware that the narrowly averted debt crisis signals more cuts to come, health centers across Texas are organizing events to remind their neighbors and policymakers alike that community health centers mean healthy families and a stronger Texas.

"Cross Timbers Health Center Stephenville enriches the community," noted George Dudley, COO. "In addition to keeping us healthy, the center creates jobs and stimulates the local economy."

In this time of economic uncertainty, health centers are here for everyone, regardless of health condition or insurance status. Now more than ever, public support is needed for health centers as Congress attempts to reduce the budget deficit with spending cuts and changes to Medicaid that could further reduce access to preventive care for millions of people.