Every health center is unique, and reflects the needs and aspirations of its community. A new video, Changing Care, Changing Lives, celebrates the distinctive history and singular role that community health centers fulfill across America. The video features interview segments with health center leaders from urban and rural communities across the country, interspersed with commentary recorded by Dr. H. Jack Geiger and Dr. John W. Hatch, whose pioneering efforts in the late 1960s launched the first rural health center in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, the first urban health center at Columbia Point and ultimately, the health center movement.

From Mississippi to Massachusetts, from Texas, California and Michigan to New York, the earliest community health centers responded to the immediate needs of disenfranchised people, welcoming all. They provided necessary health care services, and much more — serving as community anchors and economic engines, and providing meaningful, well-paying jobs, training, and an opportunity for community advancement. Since then, community health centers have evolved into the largest comprehensive primary care system in the country, and today, more than 1,400 community health centers deliver high quality, comprehensive care to 27 million people at 10,000 delivery sites.

Changing Care, Changing Lives, recorded as part of the CHroniCles project, helps tell this remarkable story, giving voice to the history and enduring value of our nation’s community health centers. These histories remind us, as we urge Congress to restore funding for community health centers, of the remarkable leadership and enduring legacy of our earliest health centers, and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring quality health care for all. We are grateful to our colleagues who contributed to this video, and grateful to all of you for the work you do each day to provide access to care, and better health, for your communities.


Strengthening Puerto Rico’s Community Health Centers

Though battered by hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico’s twenty community health centers have been essential to helping their communities recover from the devastation. On January 7, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and the Hispanic Federation, along with RCHN CHF President and CEO Feygele Jacobs, traveled to Puerto Rico to announce a $2.1 million fund to help strengthen Puerto Rico’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. Together with community members, health center colleagues and friends and elected officials, we received a warm welcome at the announcement event, held at the Concilio de Salud Integral de Loíza. The program funds are earmarked for repairs and infrastructure projects to help restore hurricane-damaged facilities. As part of this collaboration, RCHN CHF also announced a grant to Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico (ASPPR), to help the primary care association strengthen and ensure the long-term recovery of the island’s health centers. RCHN CHF is proud to be part of this terrific initiative to support our community health centers in Puerto Rico and greatly appreciates the commitment and dedication of the Hispanic Federation, Ms. Lopez and Mr. Rodriguez to help make Puerto Rico’s health centers resilient for the future.

Pictured Here: José Calderón, President of Hispanic Federation, Rosa Rodriguez, Executive Director of Centro de Salud Familiar Dr. Julio Palmieri Ferri, Alicia Suárez Fajardo, Executive Director of ASPPR, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, RCHN CHF President & CEO Feygele Jacobs and Luis Miranda, founding President of the Hispanic Federation.


New Survey: Funding Cliff and CHC Capacity

The health center movement needs your responses to an urgent survey to document how community health centers are responding to the funding cliff. The survey covers health center capacity constraints, particularly under the threat of a funding cliff; health centers’ role in health insurance outreach and enrollment and provision of addiction treatment services. The survey is being fielded by NACHC in partnership with the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at Milken Institute School of Public Health, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

The survey was emailed to all health center CEOs in every state and D.C., and must be completed online via Survey Monkey by the CEO or his or her designee. You may preview the survey HERE. If your health center has any questions or did not receive the link to complete the survey, which was sent via email on January 4th, 2018, please contact GW’s Geiger Gibson Program at ggprogram@gwu.edu.

Please submit your responses no later than January 31, 2018. Thank you for your responding to this important survey and for advocating on behalf of all health centers!