What is a Community Health Center?
The first Community Health Centers (also called Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs) were established in the U.S. more than 50 years ago by community residents and health care providers who believed that everyone should have access to quality health care no matter who they are, where they live or their ability to pay. The health center movement they launched brought doctors and health care services into medically underserved areas all across the country.
Today, Community Health Centers like Greater Elgin Family Care Center are located in nearly 10,000 rural and urban communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. Collectively, Community Health Centers serve over 29 million people!
What is so special about Community Health Centers?
Community Health Centers are independent, non-profit, non-governmental health care organizations. While no two health centers are exactly alike, they share the same mission:
To provide access to high quality, cost-effective health care services to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
Because they are supported in part by federal grants, every Community Health Center per federal law has to meet certain requirements. These include, but are not limited to:
· They must offer services to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
· They must serve an area/or population designated as medically underserved by the federal government.
· They must be governed by a Board of Directors that represents the community it serves. A majority of health center board members must be patients who use the health center’s services.
· Have in place a sliding fee scale based on the patient’s income and family size.
Greater Elgin Family Care Center is a Community Health Center and we are proud to serve as your trusted primary care medical home.