NACHC Statement: To Correct the Record

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national membership and advocacy organization for the nation’s Community Health Centers. Collectively, health centers serve more than 24 million people at over 9,200 sites in rural and underserved areas located throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Created by and for health centers to represent their needs and those of their patients, NACHC has worked closely with a number of federal agencies, foundations, corporations and other charitable organizations to improve the health of these individuals, families and communities.

In partnering with those in both the public and private sectors for over 45 years, NACHC has a solid and proven track record in both delivering results and sound program management.

That is why we find it imperative that we correct the record regarding certain incorrect assertions made during the May 24, 2016 House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on “Demanding Accountability at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).”  Among those assertions were that NACHC allowed “AmeriCorps members to engage in illegal activity” and that NACHC “senior management chose not to inform the corporation of instances of waste, fraud, and abuse, choosing instead to undermine transparency and avoid reporting information that would make them look bad.”

Those unfortunate accusations are not just inaccurate but they are false. 

The Subcommittee Chair’s statement that “the grantee [NACHC] failed to stop or even report” the activity to CNCS was refuted by the Inspector General in her own testimony – stating, “Now in this case, the grantee [NACHC] reported the incident to us, to the corporation.”

As both CNCS and the OIG have acknowledged, not only did NACHC leadership disclose and seek guidance from CNCS on this matter but NACHC moved immediately to stop the activity in question, and suspended the identified site’s AmeriCorps members for a period until they and their site supervisors were retrained and revised member service contracts were reviewed and signed.  All 38 sub-grantee program coordinators and HealthCorps grant staff at NACHC were also retrained.

NACHC leadership takes this matter seriously and has fully cooperated with both CNCS and the OIG – from the discovery of the prohibited behavior, to reporting it to CNCS, and throughout their review process.  We have worked with CNCS, taken a number of decisive, corrective steps, mutually with CNCS and the OIG, and on our own, to ensure that we clearly communicate the rules governing approved and prohibited activities so that there will be no future misunderstandings.