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What is a Community Health Center?

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

When you think about a community health center (CHC), what do you imagine? A crowded place that makes you feel like just a number? Or, maybe it’s a place that only accepts you if you have a certain kind of insurance? Well… it’s NOT!

CHCs are thriving, patient-centered facilities that practice wellness, collaboration, and excellence. They bring together physicians, nurses, and local community and government leaders all focused on building and strengthening our community’s health. Today CHCs stands as the largest and most successful primary care system in America.


CHCs are nonprofit organizations. So, unlike other providers, CHCs aren’t focused on treating as many sick people as they can, or performing as many tests and procedures as they can. Instead, CHCs work with each patient to get well, be well, and live well.

Unlike most private physicians, CHCs provide care for all patients. So, whether you get insurance through your employer or a government program like Medicaid or Medicare, or even if you have no insurance at all, you’ll still be cared for at a CHC. CHCs serve all people, no matter who they are, or where they live, regardless of income or insurance status.

Comprehensive Care

CHCs offer comprehensive care to treat the whole person. They offer primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services all in the same building. They go beyond the traditional four walls of medicine to break down barriers that often keep people from getting the care they need like lack of transportation, or income and insurance status.

CHCs work in partnership with others in public and private health organizations to develop local strategies to address the root causes of poor health. They are focused on improving the health of the whole community as well as individuals. CHCs make prevention and healthy living a priority.

Innovation Produces Value

CHCs are at the leading edge of technology and use electronic health records so that all members of your healthcare team can better coordinate and care for you. By analyzing all this information CHCs are also able to better manage the needs of patients with chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.

CHCs have bipartisan support in the public and private sectors because they produce value. Not just for patients and local communities but also for governments at all levels and American taxpayers. When compared to other healthcare providers CHCs save over $1,200 per patient, per year and over $24 billion per year in savings across the entire healthcare system. Health centers focus on prevention, patient education, and better management of chronic diseases.

Economic Engines

CHCs are more than just health care providers. CHCs serve as economic engines in their local communities, stimulating jobs and small business growth by purchasing goods and services. They are often one of the largest providers of jobs and job training in local communities. CHCs create a path for residents to develop skilled and professional careers in medical, administrative, financial, human resource, marketing, and other fields.

Patient-Centered Care

Dealing with the health care system can be an expensive, confusing experience but CHCs believe in practicing patient-centered health care, surrounding you with a team of supportive, caring professionals. At CHCs patient advocates help you navigate the confusing healthcare system with education and assistance in completing financial paperwork or applications including Medicaid, Medicare, Marketplace, Veteran Administration benefits, TBI grants, heating assistance, and more. Care coordination services can organize resources needed for patients to bridge any gaps along the care pathway like home health care, home-delivered meals, equipment, and transportation. This all starts with you, the patient, taking an active role in improving and managing your health.

Empowering Our Communities

As a nonprofit, each CHC is governed by a board of directors. The majority of people who serve on the board are actual patients of the health center. CHCs empower people living and working in those communities and give them a voice to direct how health care is delivered. That makes CHCs responsive the needs of their patients and of the larger needs of the community.

CHCs are vital, respected partners in our health care system. From providing essential care to communities in need, to treating the whole person all in one place, CHC strengthen communities.

Общественный медицинский центр "Солнечный свет

1-907-376-2273 (ЗАБОТА)


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