Community health centers were first opened in 1965 and were created out of the civil rights movement with the mission of providing healthcare to communities with few or no options for care and where systemic barriers to care had been created. Community health centers, also called Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC's) or Rural Health Centers provide benefits to the country, state, and health care systems. Community health centers are non-profit, public health, and patient-led organizations that provide high-quality medical, dental, and behavioral care to anyone walking through the health center's doors. They are an affordable health care choice for over 30 million people nationally! Health centers increase access to primary care by reducing barriers to care such as cost, insurance, geographic distance, language, and more. Additionally, health centers partner with healthcare payers, health care systems, the private sector, government, and community based organization to address and respond to public health crises including pandemics like COVID-19, natural disasters and extreme weather, national opioid crises, maternal mortality, and more.
In California, there are 1, 276 community health centers that offer primary and preventative health services, plus extra services such as prenatal care, health education, access to a nutritionist, and more to roughly 7.7 million people - that's 1 in 5 Californians! Community health centers have a mission to serve everyone who walks through the doors, regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance status. Community health centers understand people. They fit people's lifestyle. They care for whole families. They reflect communities. They put patients at the center. They deliver quality care. They want individuals, families, children, communities, and societies to be well.
Download the Community Health Center State Profile
Download the Community Health Center Capital Link Report