What is a Community Health Center?

Community Health Centers (CHCs) are non-profit community-driven clinics providing high quality primary and preventive care to all individuals, with or without insurance and regardless of their ability to pay. Every CHC provides medical and behavioral/mental health services and some sites also have dental and substance abuse services. Click here for a list of CHCs.

 There are five main ways a CHC is different from other primary care providers.

  • CHCs are only located in communities with a high need for health care
  • Medical and behavioral/mental health services are offered at every CHC site
  • Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and uninsured patients are all accepted
  • Health center patients must be the majority on the governing Board of Directors
  • CHCs must report on and meet 19 requirements for need, services, governance, and finance and management

CHCs focus on primary care and know that staying healthy costs less than getting healthy. Financial benefits come in a variety of ways to the patient and the community:

  • Offers discounts based on income to make primary and preventive care affordable
  • Reduces expensive emergency room and specialty clinic services
  • Saves the patient gas money by providing local health care
  • Decreases employee sick days
  • Creates jobs
  • Stimulates local economy