December 2019 closes out not just a year, but a decade of growth, collaboration and innovation for community health centers nationally and for the RCHN Community Health Foundation. This year, we made our 70th project grant and, through our signature Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, published our 60th report, entitled ‘Community Health Centers Continue Steady Growth, But Challenges Loom.

And indeed, challenges coupled with growth have been among our watchwords, whether we were working alongside health center movement colleagues to promote the value of the health center program and secure long-term funding for community health centers, resist proposed barriers to health care for immigrants, or strengthen the capacity of our grantees across the country to tackle complex health care needs in their communities. And while challenge and growth are constants, collaboration has been another consistent theme and touchstone.

Our work with our multi-year, multi-cohort population health initiative has focused this year on building collaboration among patients, providers, and with external care, advocacy and social service entities. (You can read more about our population health program and completed projects here, ‘Improving Population Health, Advancing Health Equity.’) To share this work beyond our immediate learning community, project grantees Georgia Primary Care Association and Fenway Health (MA) presented a workshop at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) 2019 Annual Conference and Mariposa Community Health Center (AZ) presented at the 2019 Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health, ACCESS (IL) and project partners presented at the National Summit on Social Determinants of Health, while St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (CA) and ACCESS will take part in the upcoming Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Summit on Primary Care, next spring. Our work has also taken Foundation staff on the road – to meet with our grantees from rural Idaho to downtown Boston, to participate in new HIT and public health development initiatives in Puerto Rico, to learn from our health care colleagues in Canada, and to showcase CHroniCles and the release of our short feature, Community Health Centers Deliver, at NACHC’s Policy and Issues Forum, in Washington DC and Community Health Institute and EXPO in Chicago.

Complementing this work was our support for The Fund for New Citizens, a collaborative of 14 foundations that together promote capacity building and advocacy by immigrant-led organizations in New York City; participation in the National Quality Forum (NQF) multi-stakeholder committee to identify key considerations for measuring and reporting the quality of healthcare system readiness and emergency preparedness; and most recently, our membership in the Funders Forum on Accountable Health. These partnerships have allowed us to extend our reach, deepen our work, and amplify the community health center message.

And so we begin the new decade with anticipation and with hope, proud to play a role in the ever-evolving health center movement, and gratified to work with you and our dedicated and tireless colleagues at the National Association of Community Health Centers to advance health care access and equity, and to make millions healthier. On behalf of the RCHN Community Health Foundation staff and Board of Directors, we send our best wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy, just and peaceful new year.


REMINDER: Emerging Leader Award Nominations Due Jan 6

Do you have a remarkable young staff member at your PCA, HCCN or community or farmworker health center who you think deserves recognition? The nomination period is open for the 2020 Emerging Leader Awards, presented by the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy. Awardees will be recognized at the 2020 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum. The Emerging Leader Award highlights the accomplishments of exceptional staff 35 years of age or younger working in community health centers, primary care associations, and health center controlled networks. If you have a wonderful staff member deserving of recognition on a national stage, nominate your staff by January 6, 2020, at


Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program

Are you, or is someone you know, a mid-level or senior staff person working toward or in leadership at a health center, HCCN, or state or regional primary care association? Interested in developing your skills in health policy analysis and advocacy?

The Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health is designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of health policy and acquire or hone health policy analysis competencies. The program includes on-line, asynchronous content covering the health policymaking process and tools of health policy analysis and advocacy. Then, Fellows come to Washington, DC for a three-day in-residence experience to learn from health policy experts and work together on a health policy advocacy case study exercise. To facilitate active learning, each class is limited to 20 participants.

Upcoming dates for the program are next fall, October 19-21, 2020 or next spring April 19-21, 2021. For more information and to apply, please visit: For questions, please contact Maria Velasquez at