National Health Center Week 2018

National Health Center Week. Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America's Health Care Heroes. August 12 through 18, 2018

Celebrating More than 50 Years of Increasing Access to High Quality, Affordable Health Care

For more than 50 years, health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. In 1965, the Health Center Program started with just two clinics—today there are nearly 1,400 health centers, which operate more than 11,000 delivery sites, across the country serving over 27 million people.

This National Health Center Week, HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care recognizes community health centers and their unrelenting efforts to protect and promote the health underserved and vulnerable communities nationwide. To the thousands of providers and staff who dedicate their lives to helping patients access quality health care, we thank you for making a difference in your communities. You are America’s health care heroes!

Improving Health Care Quality

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $125 million to 1,352 health centers in all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia as an investment in quality improvement, building upon their 2017 achievements.  Health centers will use these funds to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the health care delivered to the communities they serve. Read more about the Quality Improvement Award announcement.

Health Center Program

Community health centers are the providers of choice for essential primary care services for the nation’s most vulnerable populations. Health centers provide a medical home to many people facing geographic, linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers to care.

Health centers provide access to comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered care with a focus on improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities.  Almost all health centers meet or exceed at least one national benchmark goal for quality of care. For example, in 2017, 92% of health centers met or exceeded at least one Healthy People 2020 goal, and nearly all health centers demonstrated improvement on one or more clinical quality measure. Additionally, Health Center Program patient outcomes exceed national averages in key chronic disease management measures:

  • 67% of health center patients have their diabetes controlled, exceeding the national average of 57%1
  • 63% of hypertensive patients have their blood pressure controlled, exceeding the national average of 57%2

As they have been for more than 50 years, health centers are leaders in improving the health of millions of people in communities across the nation. During this year’s National Health Center Week, we celebrate the thousands of health center providers and staff who are America’s health care heroes.

Text: More than 27 million people - 1 in 12 people across the United States - rely on a HRSA-funded health center for care, including: 1 in 9 children, 1 in 5 rural residents, 1 in 3 living in poverty and more than 355,000 veterans, according to 2017 UDS Data.         Nearly 27 million people - 1 in 12 people across the United States - rely on a HRSA-funded health center for care, including: about 3.5 million publicly housed, nearly 1.4 million homeless, nearly 1 million agricultural workers, more than 800,000 served at school-based health centers, according to 2017 UDS Data.

1National Committee for Quality Assurance, The State of Health Care Quality. Diabetes Care (2016)

2National Committee for Quality Assurance, The State of Health Care Quality. Controlling for High Blood Pressure (2016); operational definition is different for patients 60-85

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2018

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#HRSA celebrates #NHCW18 and thanks #healthcenters for providing high quality #primarycare every day.