The Wright Center Achieves Gold Status for Advocacy Center Members News February 1, 2024 The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) recently recognized The Wright Centers for Community Health as a Gold Advocacy Center of Excellence (ACE) for the second time. The Wright Center was first awarded Gold ACE status in January 2022 – the first community health center in Pennsylvania to achieve the recognition. Being awarded a second Gold ACE status, effective Dec. 19, 2023, shows The Wright Center’s continued dedication to advocating for and supporting community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations in rural and urban areas. “The Wright Center is honored to be recognized by NACHC for the second time with designation as a Community Health Center Gold Advocacy Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education. “We are very grateful and proud to be expanding our mission-driven advocacy efforts to ensure our elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels understand and commit to investing in the comprehensive, affordable, equitable, and innovative primary health services that The Wright Center and our community health center colleagues across our country provide to people of all ages, income levels, and insurance statuses.” ACE levels recognize consistent engagement, success, and ongoing commitment to prioritizing advocacy. Community health centers that receive the designation are actively engaged with NACHC and forums addressing federal policy issues, as well as their state primary care association and platforms to address key state and local policy issues that impact the entities and their patients. NACHC awards three levels of ACES: bronze, silver, and gold. The status is valid for two years. In order to earn ACE status, a community health center must complete a checklist of activities and accomplishments as outlined by NACHC. The Wright Center’s employees, for example, developed and wrote guest editorials that addressed important public health issues that affect community health centers and patients and hosted round table discussions with elected officials. Additionally, an in-house advocacy committee offers training, and the organization also hosts elected officials at its primary care practices. “Earning Gold ACE status requires serious dedication and prioritization of advocacy,” Ky Rhee, M.D., MPP, president and CEO of NACHC, wrote in his letter congratulating officials at The Wright Center about the achievement. “Your organization is now part of an elite group that serves as an example to other community health centers striving to achieve advocacy excellence.” Headquartered in Scranton, The Wright Center operates 10 primary and preventive care practices, including a mobile medical and dental vehicle called Driving Better Health, in Northeast Pennsylvania. Its practices offer integrated whole-person care, meaning patients typically have the convenience of going to a single location to access medical, dental, and behavioral health, as well as community-based addiction treatment and recovery services. The Wright Center accepts most major health insurance plans, including Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Medicare, and CHIP. No patient is turned away due to an inability to pay. To make an appointment, go to TheWrightCenter.org or call 570-230-0019.