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Stacy Skiba honored by health centers group

Courtesy Photo Stacy Skiba, left, director of business operations for Hillman’s Thunder Bay Community Health Service, poses with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Award she received from the National Association of Community Health Centers.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has honored Stacy Skiba from Hillman’s Thunder Bay Community Health Service with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Award.

The award recognizes advocates’ dedication and mobilization efforts to generate public and political support for the nation’s community health centers. Skiba was presented the award during NACHC’s 2024 Policy and Issues Forum in Washington.

The annual conference draws thousands of health center leaders from around the country to gather and focus on strategies that expand access to affordable primary care services in underserved communities.

Skiba is the director of business operations for Thunder Bay and has been on the team since 2007. Her responsibilities include oversight of the health center advocacy program, health policy, Thunder Bay Community Health Service revenue-related programs, and marketing.

Skiba is a graduate of Central Michigan University, with her undergraduate degree in public administration: community development and graduate degree in administration. She is a northern Michigan native and is proud to continue to serve her community and be the voice to stand up for others.

When asked why she is inspired to advocate for community health centers, Skiba responded: “I care about people and believe that, given the right resources, we can continue to positively change the narrative for individuals within our communities and beyond”.

Health centers are the largest primary care network in the U.S., serving 31.5 million people at more than 1,400 sites nationwide. The network of health center grassroots advocates comprises doctors, nurses, CEOs, frontline staff, board members, and patients who have dedicated themselves to advancing health equity in rural, urban, and frontier communities. Thunder Bay Community Health Service represents nearly 19,000 of those patients across the northern region, with services being provided in five primary care locations and 19 schools.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the largest class of grassroots advocacy awardees in NACHC history,” said Dr. Kyu Rhee, president and CEO of NACHC. “These honorees consistently go above and beyond to foster a culture of advocacy within their organizations and the community health center movement. Their efforts to inspire and mobilize others are essential to building hope in a future where residents in all communities nationwide have access to quality and affordable health care.”

Thunder Bay Community Health Service CEO Dr. Richard Bates shared that advocacy is a part of Thunder Bay Community Health Service.

“It is a foundational element of the work we are doing in our local communities and Stacy embodies speaking up on behalf of TBCHS at the highest level,” Bates said.

Advocates are essential to the sustainability of community health centers, which have saved countless lives since they were established nearly 60 years ago. Thunder Bay is recognized as an Advocacy Center of Excellence at the Gold-level, which is the highest level of achievement, and has over 200 health center advocates on their team that are standing up to support the health center movement. Health centers depend on bipartisan support from Congress and are grateful for that decades-long partnership.

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