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    Reasons Community Health Centers Are Innovators In Health Care

    One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers started over 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities.

    Community Health Centers are bipartisan.

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    The New York Times describes the Community Health Center program as “program that has a long bipartisan history and robust bipartisan support today.”

    96% of health centers are using electronic health records (EHR).

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    According to Healthcare IT News, "One group of providers that's often well ahead of the game with regard to [clinical decision support] enabled quality improvement is community health centers. Both the resources and accountability that come from being federally-funded mean most have an innovative ethos of IT-enabled improvement that could offer some useful lessons for other providers.”

    Community Health Centers aim to increase health care access for all.


    Health centers serve over 25 million Americans in rural and urban communities. They provide high quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay.

    Community Health Centers are on the frontlines of public health promotion.

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    Health centers have been at the forefront of Zika prevention efforts, opioid addiction prevention and treatment, and the Flint water crisis.

    Community Health Centers embrace technology, including telemedicine.

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    Recognizing that barriers health care are more than just a lack of health coverage, health centers have adopted telemedicine technologies to provide for their patient’s needs.

    Community Health Centers also provide integrated care that includes behavioral health services, because…

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    Health centers know both primary and behavioral health care are important to wellness so they offer both, like these health center featured in Health Affairs Blog.

    Community Health Centers not only provide health screenings, they also screen patients for health coverage eligibility.

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    Health centers reported assisting over 15 million people in their efforts to become insured since July of 2013. That includes: Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Community Health Centers recognize that health starts where people live, learn, work and play, so they think outside the box to address their patients’ health care needs.


    America's health centers offer their communities innovative services and programs that:

    Help patients improve their health literacy.

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    Partner with local grocery stores to provide fresh produce and a solution to food deserts.

    Work with the National Park Service to prescribe visiting safe, local parks to prevent and treat chronic disease and promote wellness.

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    Teach patients how to make the most of their meals and eat healthy.

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    Save the health system $24 billion dollars annually by reducing unnecessary emergency room use.

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    Address the shortage of medical providers by creating new pipelines to the primary care workforce.

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    Form medical-legal partnerships to help patients with legal issues impacting their health.

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    For these and many reasons we celebrate America's Health Centers during National Health Center Week (#NHCW16).

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    "This week, let us thank the dedicated professionals in our community health centers who provide quality care at affordable prices. Let us build on their efforts to improve the well-being of our people and together continue working to bring about a stronger, healthier Nation for all."- National Health Center Week 2016 White House Proclamation

    To learn more about Community Health Centers visit: Follow #NHCW16 to learn more about how health centers are celebrating this week!

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