Federally supported community health centers (CHC) have been providing high quality primary care services to patients, regardless of a patient's ability to pay, for more than 50 years now. Found in every U.S. state and territory, CHC's provide medically underserved communities with integrated primary care healthcare, including care for medical, dental, vision, behavioral health and substance use disorders. In 2019, approximately 1,400 community health centers, operating through almost 13,000 delivery sites and engaging more than 252,000 full-time healthcare providers and staff, served the primary care needs of nearly 30 million patients. So last year 1 out of 11 (9%) Americans relied on federally supported community health centers for their primary care needs.
Taking a deeper dive into the numbers, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service that oversees CHC programs across the country, reports that in 2019 CHCs served:
- 1 out of every 8 children in the U.S.
- 1 out of every 5 rural residents
- 1 out of every 5 Medicaid recipients
- 1 out of every 3 Americans living in poverty
- more than 398,000 military veterans
- more than 1.4 million U.S. agricultural workers
- more than 1.4 million U.S. homeless; and
- more than 885,000 children through school-based health centers