America's Health Centers: An Enduring Legacy, Value for Today and Tomorrow

In 2015, America’s Health Centers will celebrate 50 years of success in expanding access to quality and affordable primary and preventive healthcare services to millions of uninsured and medically underserved people nationwide. Our strong and enduring health center mission is a testament to the important past, present and future role of health centers in the nation’s healthcare system. Health centers began as part of the nation’s War on Poverty. Today, they have grown into the largest and most successful primary care system in the country. Explore this site and learn more about how health centers have made a difference in communities all over America. more

<100,000 Served

The first Community Health Centers (then called “Neighborhood Health Centers”) are funded as demonstration programs under the federal Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
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500,000 Served

The National Association of Neighborhood Health Centers (NACHC) is created by early community health leaders to provide education, training and technical assistance to health center staff and Board Members.
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1 Million Served

After operating for 10 years as a demonstration program, the Community Health Centers Program is authorized under Section 330 of the Public Service Act (PHS).
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4.5 Million Served

The Reagan Administration’s “New Federalism” calls for dramatic restructuring of the federal-state relationship and proposes to block grant.
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5 Million Served

Health centers rally bipartisan support in Congress to repeal the primary care block grant and return the Health Center Program to a direct federal-local partnership base and to increase health center funding.
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The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act

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6.5 Million Served

Congress designates Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status to all federally funded health centers.
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8.6 Million Served

Health Centers confront threats to their financial viability as pressures grow to reduce federal spending and dismantle and block grant numerous social programs, including Medicaid.
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10.7 Million Served

Supporters in Congress stave off the phase out of Medicaid FQHC payments and establish a Prospective Payment System to prevent revenue losses to health centers.
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15.6 Million Served

President George W. Bush fulfills a campaign pledge calling for a five-year Health Center Expansion Initiative.
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16 Million Served

With the spiraling national debt, pressures intensify to rein in spending and reform Medicaid.
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The Health Care Safety Net Act

Health Centers are featured in a New York Times article as a cost-effective, bipartisan program that reduces health care costs and narrows health disparities.
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20 MILLION Served

With investment from ARRA and the ACA, health centers become the largest primary care network in the country – expanding into some 9,300 medically underserved communities.
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23 MILLION Served

Health Centers serve more than 23 million patients -- one out of every 15 Americans.
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24 MILLION and Growing

Community Health Centers mark the 50th Anniversary of the Health Center Movement
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