Glossary

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Community Health Center

Also referred to as a “community clinic,” the term community health center (CHC) describes one of California’s more than 200 state-licensed community, free, and tribal health centers, which operate at more than 900 sites statewide. CHCs provide health services to more than 4.7 million of California’s most vulnerable patients each year, the majority of whom are low-income, enrolled in public health coverage, or are uninsured. CHCs patch together diverse revenue streams from Medi-Cal, foundations, individual donors, and other federal, state, and local sources in order to cover services that are not reimbursed by public or private insurers. To be eligible for Foundation funding, CHCs must meet the following criteria:

  • Be licensed by the State of California as a primary care community health center, free clinic, or a designated tribal health center;
  • Be a non-profit corporation, or be tribally sanctioned;
  • Be freestanding health centers that are not county-operated, hospital-based, or part of a larger healthcare system;
  • Of their services, more than 60 percent must be primary care, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

Community Health Center Consortia

A regional association of two or more community health centers. Consortia represent community health centers at the local level and provide a regional clinic voice. In California, these twenty non-profit organizations vary in scope of services and work, but are united in providing healthcare access for all underserved and low-income patients. There are 20 regional consortia throughout California:

  • Alameda Health Consortium/Community Health Center Network
  • Alliance for Rural Community Health (ARCH)
  • California Consortium for Urban Indian Health, Inc.
  • California Family Health Council
  • California Rural Indian Health Board
  • Capital Community Health Network
  • Central Coast Health Network
  • Central Valley Health Network (CVHN)
  • Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics
  • Community Clinic Association of L.A. County (CCALAC)
  • Community Clinic Consortium of Contra Costa and Solano Counties
  • Community Health Partnership (CHP)
  • Council of Community Clinics
  • Health Alliance of Northern California (HANC)
  • North Coast Clinics Network
  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
  • Redwood Community Health Coalition
  • San Bernardino County Consortium
  • San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
  • Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers