National Health Center Week:
50 Years of Caring for America’s Communities

Ann Rollins, Executive Director

Americas Health Centers - 1965-2015 Logo

This week marks the 50th Anniversary of America’s Health Centers.  As the need for affordable healthcare and access to services increases, the need for community health centers also increases.  America’s health centers were created in 1965 as part of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).  Their history is rooted in empowering people by providing health and social services to neighborhoods.  They have also become the most successful primary care services in America.  Demand for health centers continues to grow mainly due to the excellent services they provide their patients.

Where are they located? 
Health centers are located in all 50 states.

Who receives their services?
They serve low-income, mostly female and young patients.  Over 90% of patients are under 65 years old.

What services do they provide? 
Since patients are primarily female, there is a need for obstetric/gynecologic and pediatric services.  Health centers also provide extended services, including case management, translation, transportation, outreach and health education. Dental, mental health and substance abuse services are also provided in many areas of the county. Many health centers often have pharmacies.

Who provides the services? 
Health centers utilize a number of trained staff, including clinical directors, primary care physicians, nurses, dentists, administrative support staff and other healthcare professionals.

It is estimated that health centers save our healthcare system over $24 billion a year by eliminating unnecessary emergency department visits and other hospital care.  With over 21 million patients seen annually, health centers have created over 148,000 jobs though out the United States.

Continuing to support health centers is a wise investment in our communities.  Without the services health centers provide, millions of Americans could lose access to primary health care.

2015 is a hallmark year to celebrate and support the work of health centers across the country.  We celebrate National Health Center Week and thank them for the contributions they have made and are making to help people across America.


National Carolina Community Health Center Association

National Health Care for the Homeless Council

HRSA Health Center Program

HRSA Health Center Fact Sheet