Feygete Jacobs, Chief Operating Officer, RCHN Community Health Foundation, New York, NY, explained that the Foundation as a not-for-profit supports community health centers nationally and is the only foundation in the country devoted exclusively to CHCs. Through strategic investments and partnerships in research, education, and advocacy the foundation sustains the CHCs.
The Foundation has only been in existence for two years, but the addresses three key program areas to include healthcare access and center stability, affordable prescription drugs, and health IT.
According to Jacobs, the CHCs have the same basic operating needs as other ambulatory healthcare organizations but developing technology can present problems. Sometimes the program requirements for federal funded programs and FQHC reimbursement requirements can add further complications. Unique state specific PPS implementation requirements can also be added to the mix of complications. In addition, limited financial resource for many health centers restrict adequate financing to support technology.
Jacobs wants to see technology activities include strategic investments, joint program initiatives, policy influences through research, needed financing in terms of loans and grants, and collaborations developed to search and find financing vehicles. For example, the Foundation is developing a strategic partnership with NACHC affiliates, Community Health Advocates, and Community Health Ventures, to further develop business opportunities for CHCs.