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How to Become a Health Center

Over the last 57 years, health centers that make up the Health Center Program have filled a critical need in the safety net health care system in our country. Since it began in 1965 with just two health centers, the Health Center Program has grown into a national primary care network with nearly 1,400 health centers and more than 14,000 delivery sites serving more than 30 million people a year in communities across the United States.

Health centers:

  • Are community-based and patient-directed.
  • Provide comprehensive, high-quality primary care and preventive services regardless of patients’ ability to pay.
  • Employ inter-professional teams and patient-centric approaches.
  • Provide care coordination and other enabling services that facilitate access to care.
  • Collaborate with other providers or programs to improve access to care and community resources, such as those that address social determinants of health.

Health centers must comply with all Health Center Program requirements and other federal and state requirements.

Learn more about the Health Center Program.

On this page:

Paths to Become a Health Center

There are two paths into the Health Center Program:

Health Center Program-Related Benefits

Health centers are eligible to apply for or receive the following benefits:

HRSA-funded health centers also are eligible to apply for:

Technical Assistance to Support Your Journey

Becoming part of the Health Center Program can be a challenging and significant commitment. These technical assistance (TA) resources will increase your understanding of what is required and support your journey into the Health Center Program

How to Apply

If you are interesting in learning more about how to apply to become part of the Health Center Program, review the TA resources for the following opportunities:

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