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News release, March 31, 2021

Community Health Centers in Arkansas
to continue mask requirement at clinics

CONTACTS:
LaShannon Spencer, Chief Executive Officer, CHCA
501.517.0842, lspencer@chc ar.org
Seth Blomeley, Communications and Policy Director, CHCA
501.374.8225, sblomeley@chc-ar.org


Citing the importance of keeping employees and patients in good health, Community Health Centers of Arkansas (CHCA) announced today that its members will continue requiring face coverings to be worn at clinics statewide.


"We strongly believe we should absolutely persist in the fight against COVID-19,"  said CHCA Chief Executive Officer LaShannon Spencer. "Unfortunately, we've seen throughout the history of this pandemic that backing off protective measures leads to case spikes. That's happening now in other states and countries. Wearing a mask is easy. For the sake of our families and communities, let's all be safe and take this modest precaution a little while longer." 


On Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson lifted the statewide mask mandate but gave  health care organizations flexibility to choose whether to continue such a requirement at their facilities.


Spencer said health care facilities must be kept sanitary and free of COVID, especially to protect patients and staff with health conditions that could make them more vulnerable to the virus. 


Community Health Centers (CHCs) treat more than 240,000 patients in Arkansas a year and employ nearly 2,000 people across the state.


CHCs are participating in the COVID-19 vaccine programs with doses provided by the federal and state government with a special emphasis on reaching vulnerable and isolated populations.


The Arkansas Department of Health has provided vaccines to East Arkansas Family Health Center in West Memphis and to Boston Mountain Rural Health Center in Marshall.  The federal Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) has provided doses to Mainline Health Systems in Dermott and to Community Clinic in Springdale. All CHCs are expected to receive doses from HRSA in the coming weeks.


About: CHCs are non-profit entities fueled by patient revenue and federal grants meant to expand health care access for low-income, minority, and rural populations. CHCs provide many services including primary care, dental, behavioral health, and health education.

Altogether, 12 CHCs in Arkansas serve more than 240,000 people a year at more than 140 sites. Nationally, nearly 1,400 CHCs serve 30 million patients a year.

For more information on Community Health Centers in Arkansas, please visit: http://www.chc-ar.org/ and the 2021 'Your Community, Your Health' publication profiling each CHC. 


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 Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc.
119 South Izard Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 501-374-8225 www.chc-ar.org

 
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