Community health centers have always played a role in uplifting and improving the quality of life in underserved communities. This work goes well beyond the examination room. By promoting greater civic participation, community health centers lead the way in addressing the social determinants of health – conditions that impact the way people live and work.


Civic engagement plays a crucial role in building and sustaining a healthy, vibrant, and inclusive community. As key members of the community, health centers serve as a civic hub. A place where community members come for answers. Health care professionals are some of the community’s most trusted messengers, and our patients are a community’s heart and soul. For these reasons, community health centers are a vital cog in the civic engagement wheel. Civic engagement encompasses a whole host of activities, with one core defining feature: a community actively involved in the way it is governed. This can include registering to vote and voting, speaking up at public meetings, making sure those in power hear from the community, or even participating in the census. Civic engagement involves people taking an active role in shaping their community, advocating for issues, and participating in activities that foster positive change. Every day is an opportunity to make your voice heard and amplify the needs of your community.

Civic engagement is fundamental to the functioning of our democracy. Active participation ensures people have a voice in the decision-making processes and hold leaders accountable. Being an active participant in civic engagement helps build a stronger society and sense of belonging, which fosters stronger and more resilient communities. Civic engagement empowers individuals to address social injustices and influence positive changes in policies and practices.

Health care is a consistent priority at both state and national levels, and the support we build for health care will become a powerful base for community empowerment and advocacy. Together we can build that support. If we aspire to enhance the health of ourselves, our families, and our community, civic engagement becomes a pivotal opportunity to promote initiatives that can positively influence our well-being.

Get Out The Vote (GOTV) activities benefit our health centers, patients, and democracy. Health centers reach low-income consumers and new citizens that many voting campaigns miss. If we don't encourage our patients to vote, who will? When health centers provide GOTV opportunities, patients are empowered to walk out of a health center with their health issues attended to, as well as the tools to participate in the next election. Check out our voter resources for more information on how to support civic engagement at your health center.