Throughout the country, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have become an integral part of the health care safety net for a vast majority of uninsured or underinsured patients needing care.
The history of FQHCs began in 1964 when a special Economic Opportunity Act was created by President Lyndon Johnson to develop neighborhood health centers. The term Federally Qualified Health Centers was first used in 1989 and was added as a Medicare benefit in 1991. More recently, FQHCs were a key part of the Affordable Care Act, which highlighted the importance of primary care in underserved areas across the country. Today, there are more than 1,100 FQHCs in the United States.
Locally, Community Health Centers, Inc. is one of our region’s largest not-for-profit providers of health and wellness services, caring for nearly 70,000 patients annually and contributing $78 million in economic impact on our region.
As a FQHC, we are a community-driven organization dedicated to serving our patients and their families locally, in the neighborhoods that they live and trust. Our mission is to provide quality and compassionate healthcare services to many diverse communities, and do so in a way that consistently overcomes economic, cultural and geographic barriers.
Our strength is in our constant focus on being a community partner that cares for the whole person. We view our patients as being individuals that deserve specialized care. Each patient has a very unique need, and we strive to develop programs that not only meet these needs but also exceed the expectations of those receiving care.
Through programs such as our pediatric, family medicine, internal medicine, dental, optometry, behavioral health, OB/GYN, pharmacy, and laboratory services have been designed to meet a very significant need for our patients, many of whom are managing chronic life-long conditions such as diabetes. Our Hospital to Medical Home transition program is designed for our patients that are hospitalized at local hospitals, and need transitional care rounding.
Beyond our healthcare services, we strive to be an active, visible and engaged member of the communities we serve. It is our personal belief that if you are a business or organization that is based in a community, then you need to take on the responsibility of being an active leader in improving the overall wellness of your community. This is very important to us as an organization and we are fortunate that our employees share in this passion.
Our board and team members participate in numerous programs and events to give back to those we serve. Whether it be volunteering at a local food pantry or helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity, or taking part in a community parade to recognize and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., we proudly share in the excitement and importance of these events.
We are very proud of the fact that we help to improve the quality of life within our region. Providing healthcare means much more than just treating the sick. It is about overall wellness and education.
It is about prevention and convenient access. It is about supporting mental and emotional health, as well as physical health. And, it is about being there when a friend, or neighbor, needs you most. That is who we are and what Community Health Centers, Inc. strives to be.
For more information, please visit https://www.chcfl.org/about/chc/