In 2015, America’s community health centers will celebrate 50 years of providing comprehensive, high-quality, accessible and affordable primary and preventive healthcare services to uninsured and medically vulnerable people at over 9,000 locations in urban and rural communities across the country. Health centers began as a demonstration project under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Today, they have grown into the largest and most successful primary care system in the country, serving more than 23 million people annually. In addition to generating substantial cost savings for the health care system, health centers also boost the economic health of the communities they serve through job creation, and generated over 230,000 jobs and $26.5 billion in economic activity for their local communities in 2012. The 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.
To learn more about how health centers have made a difference in communities across the nation, visit NACHC’s special 50th anniversary site.
Also visit CHroniCles, a special project dedicated to the unique and living history of the community health center movement. The site showcases contributed narratives, photos, data and other materials, celebrates the distinctive history of the health center movement and honors the significant role community health centers fulfill in the lives of millions across the country.