Mountain Family Health Centers are part of a program that the federal government established over thirty years ago to help people overcome economic, cultural, geographic, and other barriers in access to primary health care.
The U.S. has over 1,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers, which serve 15 million people through 5,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
The long range goal of the program is 100% access and 0% disparities in quality care for all Americans. We join over 5,000 other Community Health Center sites, serving more than 15 million people throughout the U.S., in working towards this goal.
Today, CHC’s are the third largest health provider network in the nation. In fact, CHC’s serve:
- One of every six low-income American children.
- One in ten uninsured Americans.
- One in every twelve rural Americans.** Source: National Association of Community Health Centers
The CHC program, which is administered by the Bureau of Primary Health Care, is designed to encourage local communities to develop health care services to meet the their unique needs and priorities.
To achieve this, Community Health Centers operate as independent, non-profit, community-based organizations. Each is guided by a Board of Directors, composed of members of the community and of whom at least half are patients. The Bureau of Primary Health care funds only a quarter of the cost of operations, so each center must earn significant financial and in-kind support from local private and government sources, in addition to patient revenues.
CHC’s collaborate with other local health and human service agencies to insure all community members receive not only high quality health care, but also access to other services that promote healthy lives.
High Quality, Cost Effective Care
Recognizing the critical role of CHC’s, Congress has steadily expanded the program. The human and financial benefits documented by numerous studies include:
- Better use of preventive care-such as immunizations, Pap smears, and mammograms-to detect then treat illnesses before they are more advanced and require more costly intervention.
- Better management of chronic illness-such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension-enabling longer, happier, and more productive lives.
- Fewer infant deaths due to improvements in prenatal care and reductions in low birth weight.
- Reduction in inappropriate utilization of hospitals and emergency rooms.
The Community Health Center has proven to be a health care model that works.
If you are interested in learning more about Community Health Centers, visit the National Association of Community Health Centers by clicking www.nachc.com.
If you are interested in learning more about Community Health Centers in Colorado, visit the Colorado Community Health Network by clicking www.cchn.org .
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Mountain Family, click here.