What is a Community Health Center?
Since the nation’s first health Community Health Centers opened in 1965, expansion of the federally supported health center system to over 1,400 organizations has created an affordable health care option for more than 30 million people. Health centers help increase access to crucial primary care by reducing barriers
such as cost, lack of insurance, distance, and language for their patients. In doing so, health centers — also called Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)– provide substantial benefits to the country and its health care system.
America’s Health Centers Are Drivers of Health Equity
- Health centers improve the health and well-being of underserved communities while empowering people to become actively involved in solving issues unique to their needs and communities.
- Health centers are innovators, healers and problem solvers that reach beyond the walls of the conventional health care delivery system to prevent illness and address the social drjvers that may cause poor health – diet, nutrition, mental illness, or homelessness.
- The health center mission to promote health equity has become increasingly important in the fight against COVID-19 and other preventable diseases.
- Health centers are fighting the spread of the COVID-19 variants in vulnerable communities—including communities of color and special populations (elderly, people experiencing homelessness, and agricultural workers).
- Health centers work in partnership with health care payers, entire health care systems, the private sector, and the government on all levels to address and respond to the critical public health crises of our time, including:
- Natural disasters and extreme weather events
- The national opioid crisis
- Maternal mortality and more.