Federally qualified health centers are probably the most important safety net providers in the United States. Support for their contributions to serving both medically underserved and medically underinsured communities is bipartisan. The Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations have all increased funding for health centers are part of their health policy initiatives.

The increase in funding and expansion of the overall number of health centers created a concurrent need to grow their workforce. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) naturally saw veterans and military retirees as a great potential pipeline of committed, disciplined and confident employees.

In a kick-off event hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and joined by the CEO of the NACHC, Tom Van Coverden, the health center community pledged to hire 8,000 veterans over three years.

But, NACHC still needed to reach two different audiences: informing the veteran community of what health centers did and where they were located; and informing health centers about the qualities of veterans and how to reach them. Ward Circle Strategies delivered national presentations on the NACHC veteran outreach effort; put together a ToolKit for both health centers and veterans, and produced a cool video (embed link) to tell the story of both.

The health centers are well on the way to reaching their veteran hiring goals – and the military and veteran community is much more aware of this important resource in over 9,000 communities in America.