Opinion: Health Centers Need your Help

Open Door Health ServicesOpen Door Health Services

By: Bryan Ayars, CEO—

What would you do if 70 percent of your income disappeared? Open Door Health Services will find out if the U.S. Congress does not reinstate essential funding to community health centers throughout the country.

Without these vital funds, Open Door — which provides affordable, expert care to more than 30,000 area residents — will lose more than $2 million. That’s money we planned to invest in our community through critical diabetics monitoring, hypertension treatment, dental work, behavioral health, and other services that support the overall health of the individual and the family. Thousands of your neighbors, friends, and family members may feel the effects of this Congressional inaction.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that failure to fund health centers will lead to the closure of some 2,800 health center sites and the elimination of more than 50,000 jobs nationwide. Locally, Open Door is committed to maintaining the services we provide with existing employees, but WE need your help.

Make your voice heard so legislators know this funding is essential for our community to thrive. Please take time to:

  • Call 1-866-456-3949 to reach the Washington Office of your Senate and House representatives. You can leave a message or speak with a staff person.  Review the list of talking points below to guide your discussion:
  • Failure to fund health centers will cost the State of Indiana as many as 300 jobs and up to $297 million in lost revenue.
  • Hoosiers will get sicker
  • ER usage will increase
  • Overall healthcare costs will rise

Here is more background about the issue:

Next week, Congress will again vote to keep the government open by approving a budget. Currently, there are no plans to reinstate the funding for community health centers, including Open Door Health Services and Meridian Health Services in Delaware County and Open Door Health Services and Jane Pauley Community Health Center in Madison County. Each of these centers provides high quality, low cost care to thousands of families throughout the area, regardless of their income or type of insurance. More than likely, we care for one of your friends, neighbors or family members.

We serve counties with some of the worst health outcomes in the state, and losing access to important primary care, behavioral health, or dental services means individual suffer and their health gets worse, employers suffer because employees can’t get the health care services they need, and schools suffer because students can’t learn because they are ill .

Again, please call 1-866-456-3949 to tell your representatives how important this health center funding is to the vitality of our community and the lives of friends, family, and neighbors.

Let them know you care about your community, and they should too.

Open Door Health Services is a not-for-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center, providing comprehensive primary, urgent, and preventive healthcare services to individuals and families throughout East Central Indiana regardless of their health insurance status. ODHS offers specific services through multiple locations in Muncie and Anderson.

Bryan Ayars is CEO of Open Door Health Services