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HopeHealth’s Nicole Echols honored for advocacy at National Conference

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has honored HopeHealth and Nicole Echols, director of external affairs, with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Award. The award is named in honor of the late Elizabeth K. “Betsey” Cooke, whose effort and persistence as an advocate for America’s health centers and patients set an example for all health center advocates to follow.

The award recognizes advocates’ dedication and mobilization efforts to generate public and political support for the nation’s Community Health Centers. Echols was presented the award recently during NACHC’s 2024 Policy and Issues Forum (P&I).

Nicole Echols holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from South Carolina State University and has years of experience in non-profit leadership and operations. As director of external affairs at HopeHealth, she establishes relationships with stakeholders in media, academia, government, and in the private sector. Dedicated to community service, she oversees development, advocacy, outreach, and the volunteer program and helps organize programs to eliminate barriers to care.

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.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the largest class of grassroots advocacy awardees in NACHC history. These honorees consistently go above and beyond to foster a culture of advocacy within their organizations and the Community Health Center movement,” said Dr. Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, President and CEO of NACHC. “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.”

On receiving the award, Echols shared, “Being considered a superlative in the world of health advocacy is a true honor. As advocates, we stand not only with our partners, but with our community, and those who depend on us for excellent care.”

HopeHealth supporters can sign up to become a health center advocate at



HopeHealth educates its patients on the importance of having a health care home. As a primary care facility, HopeHealth’s medical team works to prevent and detect illness and the early onset of disease, provide routine physical examinations and promote overall healthy lifestyles.

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