oscarDear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends,

As I take a moment to reflect on 2017 and look ahead to the possibilities of 2018, it is with admiration and gratitude for all the work you do to promote access to care and advance health equity. Reflecting back on 2017 and looking ahead to the new year, it is all of you— community advocates, health care leaders, social service providers, outreach workers, and other caregivers to our communities—who are working to keep our country’s health care and safety net systems accessible to those who need it.

While our dedication is strong, we are facing many challenges. We continue to await the fate of two invaluable health programs: The Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Program. Furthermore, new policies and laws are unfairly targeting low-income and immigrant communities, especially with the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). With that in mind, I would like to specifically recognize staff from health centers and other safety net organizations for their continued work in the face of financial uncertainty and unprecedented attacks on our most vulnerable communities.

Witnessing immigration and health advocates come together in 2017 to jointly fight for health equity and the right of our communities to lead healthy and dignified lives, provides me with encouragement and gives me hope for 2018. HOP’s own response included a new initiative: The Silent Crisis Immigration Convening Series. Between June and August 2017, HOP collaborated with local health centers and other partners to host and facilitate four convening events for Community Health Workers (CHWs) in California, Oregon, and Washington. These convening events provided the space for CHWs to come together, share challenges, and develop solutions for conducting outreach efforts in an anti-immigrant climate. HOP is now updating our Silent Crisis resource, which we will disseminate nationwide.

HOP recognizes that now, more than ever, it is imperative for individuals and organizations to be equipped with the resources and knowledge they need to cultivate to sustain their work. We continue to offer our self-care resource free of charge, and provide collaborative, one-on-one support to health centers and other community-based organizations amidst this climate of apprehension. We are here to support you.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and best wishes for the new year ahead.

In community,

Oscar Gomez