Doctor examines female patient.

How the Civil Rights Movement Gave Rise to Community Health Centers

By Michelle Betton, Writer

With thousands in communities across the country, community health centers (CHCs) seem like a long-standing part of the national health care system. However, the origins of CHCs are relatively recent, born out of civil rights struggles that started 10,000 miles away. They owe their start to Dr. Jack Geiger, who applied an idea that he had seen used to address the stark health care disparities in apartheid South Africa to the structural racism that African Americans experienced in accessing quality health care.

A baby receives a check-up at a community health center.

Innovative Financing Expands Care for California’s Underserved Communities

By Nicole Boone, Business Development Officer

Boyle Heights is a bustling Latino neighborhood just east of downtown Los Angeles with a history dating back before the Mexican-American War. However, it’s the pressures of the present day that weigh heavily here. Approximately 66 percent of the population lives below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, 22 percent are uninsured, and few primary care doctors remain. The systemic poverty the residents grapple with creates ripple effects throughout their lives.

Health center staff hand out medications to wildfire victims.

When Disaster Strikes, Health Clinics Come to the Rescue​

By ​Will Robison, Senior Loan Officer

​As wildfires burned through California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties in late 2017, Sandy Cesario was forced to evacuate her home and all she knew. Like many of the 5,000 residents of her small Calistoga town, she took refuge at one of the county’s evacuation centers filled with uncertainty.

That was the last place she expected to see her personal doctor.

Graphic depicting meeting the needs of a growing aging population

Age-Friendly Health Centers and California: A Proving Ground for Change

By Candace Baldwin, Director of Strategy, Aging in Community

Wouldn’t we all like to age in our homes and communities, surrounded by what is familiar, supported by a health care team that really understands who we are and how to serve us as individuals with unique needs? This kind of age-friendly health system has generally been an anomaly in the United States, particularly for low-income, older patients. Coupled with the fact that 90 percent of older adults want to age in their own homes, integrated care models are best supported at the community level.

California Health Clinics and Financing to Meet ACA Implementation

By Scott Sporte, Chief Lending Officer

SanYsidro_dentist_blogThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) sets out to provide access to health care for all. The ACA will only be fully implemented in California when all people, including low-income residents in underserved communities, have local access to quality, affordable care.

Community health centers and clinics (CHCs) play a vital role in this effort by providing preventive and primary care to patients in California – and across the nation – regardless of their ability to pay. Since 2009, health centers have increased the number of patients served from 17 million to 23 million annually. With the ACA’s implementation, however, it is estimated that CHCs will need to serve 35 million patients in the coming years.

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