Community health centers have long played a critical role in promoting community-wide health and reducing health disparities, serving communities with high concentrations of poverty, racial and ethnic minority populations, elevated risk of poor health, few health care and social service resources, and limited access to affordable insurance coverage. Using recent data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this new data note focuses on the early impact of COVID-19 on health centers across the country and explores the importance of health centers in serving the low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The researchers found current limitations to health center operating capacity, and highlight the need for greater federal investment to strengthen and expand health center capacity in underserved communities. The data note was produced by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Read Data Note: Greater Investment in Community Health Centers Needed to Narrow Disparities in Health and COVID-19 Outcomes.


Keeping Community Health Centers Strong During the Coronavirus Pandemic is Essential to Public Health

A new Health Affairs blog highlights the essential role of community health centers in the health care system, and on the front lines of the coronavirus response. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, community health centers are struggling to survive. The authors assert that measures such as expanding eligibility for financial protections, increasing funding amounts, and expediting payments are key to ensuring that health centers and other essential providers survive the outbreak and can continue to serve their communities. The blog is authored by Geiger Gibson/RCHN CHF Research Collaborative colleagues Peter Shin, Rebecca Morris, Maria Velasquez, Sara Rosenbaum and Alexander Somodevilla.

Read the blog here.


New Video: Agents of Hope, Centers of Change

A new video, Agents of Hope, Centers of Change, filmed as part of the CHroniCles project, is one of our signature series showcasing the unique origins and development of our nation’s community health centers. Originating with a small demonstration program launched by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965, the health centers that emerged reflected the struggles of the civil rights movement, the ongoing campaigns for justice for farmworkers and other disenfranchised communities, and the determination of community activists and health care visionaries to help better – and empower – the lives of those living in poverty. Their efforts brought forth a movement that today serves more than 28 million people and has vastly improved the health and well-being of rural and urban communities across the country.

As we face an unprecedented global pandemic, health centers are once again on the front lines, responding to both the crisis and the routine needs of their communities. The enduring value of the community health model and the work we do today has its roots in these early stories – which help underscore the clear need for long-term, stable heath center funding. We are grateful to our colleagues who contributed to this video, and to all who are continuing the health center story, reaffirming the commitment to quality health care, equity and access for all.

View Agents of Hope, Centers of Change.


The CHroniCles Beat: Public Charge: Community Health Center Resources and Mobilization

A new blog post examines the dimensions of the recent public charge rule and its expected impact on community health centers and the individuals and communities they serve, both directly and because of the “chilling effect” that is expected to hamper utilization of services, even by those not directly affected. Only a few weeks into the implementation of the final rule, we spoke with colleagues at the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to learn more about what they are seeing on the ground, and how health centers can best inform staff and assist patients going forward.

Read Public Charge: Community Health Center Resources and Mobilization

Image: iStock. Image supplied by California Primary Care Association


New from KFF: Community Health Centers in a Time of Change: Results from an Annual Survey

Findings from the KFF/Geiger Gibson 2019 Community Health Center Survey provide important information on health centers’ financial situation and their experiences in a changing policy environment. The findings come as health centers play an essential role in responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Additional funding support for this KFF brief was provided to the George Washington University by the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

Read Community Health Centers in a Time of Change: Results from an Annual Survey


NHIT Community Transformation Forum Webinars

The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT) is hosting a new webinar series, NHIT- Community Transformation Forum, focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. RCHN CHF is proud to support this NHIT series as a Community Transformation Partner.

Upcoming sessions:

Topic: COVID-19: Supporting Family Caregivers & Communities in a Pandemic with Geri Lynn Baumblatt, Co-founder, Difference Collaborative and MaryAnne Sterling, CEA EVP, Caregiver Experience
Date: Thursday April 23, 1PM EDT

Topic: Fireside Chat: Dr. David Shulkin, Former Secretary of the Veterans Administration, and Transformational Leader.
Date: Tuesday May 12, 2020, 3PM EDT

To register for these upcoming webinars and view recordings of past sessions, please visit


In Case You Missed It:
How Will the Title X Family Planning Rule Affect Community Health Centers?
Community health centers are poised to make significant changes in Title X program participation, according to a new report by our colleagues Jessica Sharac, MSc, MPH, Sara Rozenbaum J.D. and Maria Velazquez, MPH of the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at GW. The authors surveyed community health centers to assess their current and future Title X participation plans, ahead of the March 4th, 2020 date on which the administration’s rule took full effect. The results of the study underscore the problems created by the Title X rule, and concerns regarding potential impacts on access and quality. The study is part of the Collaborative’s signature policy brief series.

Read How Will the Title X Family Planning Rule Affect Community Health Centers?


More Videos, Part of our CHroniCles Series