Health Center Growth and Development

Whether you’re just starting a health center or looking to expand the size and services of an existing center, the National Association of Community Health Centers is here to help. NACHC offers resources to support the application and readiness process, regional and national training opportunities, and technical assistance.

This website contains resources to help you develop or strengthen governance structure, clinical services, administration, and finance. In addition, we provide information important to health centers regarding federal grant requirements and Health Center Program compliance.

If you can’t find what you need here, or need more information, contact Ted Henson, Director, Health Center Performance and Innovation at 301-347-0474.

Upcoming Training Events

Save the date! Starting With Success: Health Center Fundamentals | January 19 – 20, 2022
Aimed at new, veteran, and future health center leaders, this “Health Center 101” training leads participants through the complexities of the HRSA Health Center Program Requirements and outlines components of a high-performing health centers finances, operations, governance, and clinical service delivery models. Registration opens soon–be on the lookout for details!
For more information about this training, contact
For more about NACHC Training and Technical Assistance (TTA), visit:

Program Requirements-Related Resources

  • NACHC Webinar Series: Creating a Culture of Continuous Compliance: Preparing for HRSA’s Operational Site Visit and Beyond | July 12, 14, & 15, 2021 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET |  This 3-part webinar series features the perspective of three independent consultants with years of experience performing HRSA OSVs. Each consultant – a current fiscal, governance, and clinical reviewer – will provide practical tips and promising practices for ensuring not just a successful OSV but for achieving a state of continuous compliance. This webinar will provide a practical overview of the Health Center Program requirements, tips for navigating the Virtual OSV process, potential pain points and common areas of conditions/findings,  and steps that your health center can take to ensure continuous compliance. Click here for more information.
  • Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program Requirements
    • Health Center Program Compliance Manual: Known as the “Compliance Manual,” this document is HRSA’s principal resource to assist health centers in understanding and demonstrating compliance with the Health Center Program requirements. Click here for more information on the Compliance Manual.
    • Health Center Program Site Visit Protocol (SVP): Known as the Site Visit Protocol, this document is HRSA’s principal tool for assessing compliance with Health Center Program requirements during Operational Site Visit (OSVs). HRSA updated the Site Visit Protocol in May 2021. Click here for more information on HRSA’s Site Visit Protocol.

Past Training Events

  • 2020 NACHC Webinar Series: The Operational Site Visit – What You Need to Know to Prepare for and Succeed During Your OSV
  • 2020 Starting with Success: Building and Enhancing Your Health | January 14-15, 2020 | Long Beach, CA

Key NACHC Resources

  • So You Want to Start a Health Center (September 2019): This publication provides a guide for health care providers, organizations, public agencies, or community-based organizations and individuals interested in becoming part of the Health Center Program.
  • Funded! Now What (November 2019): This publication provides a guide for health centers that received their first new access point award and are new, 330-funded, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The guide provides an overview of the Health Center Program requirements and includes checklists to assist with the opening of the new health center.
  • Public Centers Monograph (September 2019): This publication provides a foundational overview on health centers that are also public entities (i.e. health departments, public universities, etc.).

Additional Resources

  • Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Health Center Program Look-Alikes operate and provide services consistent with Health Center Program Requirements. Look-alikes do not receive HCP funding, but they are eligible to receive other HCP benefits, such as applying to CMS for the FQHC Medicare and Medicaid Payment methodologies, 340B Program, National Health Service Corps providers, and more. Click here for HRSA’s webpage on Health Center Program Look-Alikes. Click here for HRSA’s Look-Alike Initial Designation Application Instructions (updated August 2020).
  • Service Area Overlap Toolkit: This 2015 NACHC publication will assist existing health centers looking to expand their current operations as well as applicants looking to establish new health centers.