Health Center Leader Inducted into NACHC Grassroots Hall of Fame
Bethesda, Md. – Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Health Plan, a network of Community Health Centers in the South Bronx and Queens, New York, has been inducted into the Grassroots Hall of Fame for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Grassroots Hall of Fame members have made lasting contributions to insuring the creation, survival and strength of Community Health Centers and the Health Center Movement through their dedicated and tireless efforts over many years. Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez was awarded the Hall of Fame Award at the 2016 NACHC Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, D.C., an event attended by more than 2,000 health center leaders from around the country.
“Paloma has been a passionate advocate on behalf of health centers and the movement would not be what it is today without his dedication, skilled leadership and tireless energy,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. “She has been on Capitol Hill many times carrying the health center message, and rallying public support for funding. We’re deeply appreciative of her commitment, hard work and leadership in advocacy.”
Through her leadership and vision, Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez has built Urban Health Plan into a first class health care organization. She has devoted her career to reducing the health disparities in the South Bronx community, which is located in what has been identified as the poorest congressional district in the country. Under her leadership, Urban Health Plan has grown from a one-site facility in the South Bronx, to a network of health centers that includes nine sites in the Bronx and Queens, including a stand alone Adolescent Health and Wellness Center; nine school health programs; three part-time facilities for at-risk populations; two large Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs; a workforce development center; and multiple other grant-funded programs. Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez was singled out for the NACHC award because of her dedication and commitment to grassroots advocacy, and for her diligence as a national voice within the health center community about the critical role health centers need to continue in advocating for patients.
Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez sits on numerous boards, and has served as the chairperson of the board of directors of the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) and on the Board of Directors for NACHC.
Urban Health Plan is part of a national network of Community Health Centers. Health centers more than fifty years ago started as a daring experiment in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty campaign, which led to the opening of the nation’s first health centers in Boston and the Mississippi Delta. Today, that pilot project has evolved into the largest and most successful primary healthcare system in the United States. Health centers serve more than 24 million Americans (1 in 14 people) who live in more than 9,200 rural and urban communities. Health centers also save the U.S. healthcare system more than $24 billion every year in reduced overall costs from preventable hospitalizations and avoidable emergency room visits. To learn more about the mission and accomplishments of heatlh centers please visit www.nachc.org.
Founded in 1970, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation’s network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) which serve over 24 million people through over 9,200 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.