The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) was founded in 1971 to promote efficient, high-quality, comprehensive health care that is accessible, culturally and linguistically competent, community directed, and patient centered for all.
What We Do
- Serves as the leading national advocacy organization in support of community-based health centers and the expansion of health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.
- Conducts research and analysis that informs both the public and private sectors about the work of health centers, their value to the American health care system and the overall health of the nation’s people and communities – both in terms of costs and health care outcomes.
- Provides training, leadership development and technical assistance to health center staff and boards to support and strengthen health center operations and governance.
- Develops alliances and partnerships with the public and private sectors to build stronger and healthier communities and bring greater resources to and investment in community health centers.
NACHC also works closely with chartered State and Regional Primary Care Associations (PCAs) to fulfill their shared health care mission and support the growth and development of community-based health center programs. Read more about the Primary Care Association in your state/region.
NACHC’s Six Pillars
In the Spring of 2021, the NACHC board redeveloped its strategic plan and called out six key priorities – or “pillars.” The 6 Pillars Start with Equity, and all others relate back to this central theme:
Pillar 1: Center everything we do in a renewed commitment to equity and social justice.
NACHC and its members will build upon the community-based foundation of our movement to recognize the impact of racism and implicit bias within the healthcare system, within communities, and within organizations. Advancing equity and social justice will require leveraging data to make the case for change, bringing diversity to all levels of organizational leadership including community-driven boards, generating new funding based on emerging priorities, improving social conditions that lead to disparities in health status, adapting service delivery to drive more equitable health outcomes, and partnering with groups and vendors that act on shared values.
Pillar 2: Strengthen and reinforce the infrastructures for leading and coordinating the community health movement.
NACHC will remain responsive to the evolving needs of its members and of the communities health centers serve through ongoing assessments of industry and environmental trends. In order to effectively guide the community health movement, NACHC will emphasize the critical role of consumer-driven community Boards as a leading factor for the continued success of health centers and inform Boards of the changes health centers face and the impact those changes will have on effective governance. Boards provide essential awareness of the emerging realities to which health centers must quickly adapt, and NACHC must continue to provide the training, resources, and guidance to support health center Boards and individual Board members.
To position itself to effectively support all the pillars, NACHC will work to ensure its own organizational health using a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens to drive retention and recruitment strategies, leadership succession planning and ongoing professional development efforts.
Pillar 3: Develop a highly skilled, adaptive, and mission-driven workforce that reflects communities served.
Developing a diverse, high-performing, and committed workforce will require effective recruitment and retention strategies to recognize, attract, and cultivate the staff and boards that will lead and serve the health center movement and NACHC into the future. NACHC and its members will work to ensure competitive compensation and benefits; deliver relevant and future-facing training; create a pipeline of candidates through programs, residencies, and teaching health centers; identify career pathways for employees at all levels; create succession planning and training to enhance organizational stability and heightened performance; and assure equity and diversity.
Pillar 4: Secure reliable and sustainable funding to meet increasing demands for CHC services.
NACHC and its members will work to protect 340B and Medicaid eligibility, coverage, and payment (PPS) while expanding opportunities for new payment models and revenue streams. Developing reliable, sustainable, and sufficient funding will require diversification of funding sources, prioritization of long-term and increasing funding commitments to health centers, funding specifically designated for capital projects, tactics to respond to our polarized political environment, and equitable payment for care delivered through various channels.
Pillar 5: Continue the critical work of updating and improving care models to meet the evolving needs of the communities served.
NACHC and its members will remain committed to patient-centered and community-based models of care, leveraging data, market insights, and best practices to inform transformation. Care models will be market-specific and responsive to community needs, requiring improved data capture and accessibility and effective integration of telehealth and other technology systems to stay relevant among competitors, and will rely heavily on adequate funding and workforce development.
Pillar 6: Cultivate and strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships to advance the shared mission of improving community health.
NACHC (on a national level), Primary Care Associations and Networks (on state levels) and health centers (based on local interests and opportunities) will seek to establish or participate in partnerships that extend health centers’ abilities to improve social factors that directly affect health, promote equity and social justice and improve quality of life for people served.
In addition to other health care organizations, partners could include schools, food supply entities, housing agencies, economic development corporations, etc. Developing functional and mutually beneficial partnerships will require a sensitivity to local context; identification of specific shared outcomes; creative, innovative approaches; and an awareness of competitors within the markets in which health centers operate.