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“There’s hope for health care in Eastern NC and throughout the state in the form of Community Health Centers.”

In March 2024, WNCT 9 On Your Side visited Agape Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Eastern North Carolina led by Dr. Michael McDuffie, DHSc.

Agape recently hired the entire clinical staff that had been laid off by another rural provider, keeping them in Eastern NC where they are needed most.

Read about the comprehensive & affordable primary, dental, and behavioral health care Agape Health Services provides in Washington, Williamston and Plymouth, NC at

For more information about Agape Health Services and its initiatives, please contact ReAnne Mayo, Agape’s Director of Community Outreach and Marketing.

The team at the North Carolina Community Health Center Association is excited to share a video that gives viewers a first-hand look inside the day-to-day life of a North Carolina Community Health Center.

While the video tour does not visit every site in North Carolina, it represents the services provided by 42 Community Health Centers at over 300 site locations in 84 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. .

The Community Health Centers of North Carolina have been at the forefront of testing and now vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have continually to adapted to changing safety precautions and provided excellent primary care and other health services.

This video gives glimpses of what the physical offices of NC Community Health Centers look like, as well as discussions of services such as dental, behavioral health, medical, and pharmacy.

You can view the video tour below and here.

Black women are known to have played significant roles in the history that shaped America and its values. Today, more women of color continue to dedicate their lives to the development of this great nation, and as we zoom into the health sector and the significant roles Community Health Centers play, we’d like to introduce you to a long-time leader in North Carolina’s Community Health Center movement, Margaret Covington.

Covington is the CEO of Stedman-Wade Health Services and has dedicated her life to serving communities through healthcare service provision. While not directly working with patients, her leadership roles have certainly contributed to what Stedman-Wade is today, and by extension the health sector in North Carolina.

“I was born in North Carolina and moved to Washington, DC in October 1966. I finished college, then I returned back to NC in 1978 which is when I started to work for a Community Health Center in Jones County,” says Covington. In 1981, she went to work for Stedman-Wade as an office manager. “I later became CEO in 1994 and the rest is history,” she related with a sense of pride.

Community Health Centers  (CHCs)are perhaps not entirely recognized for their role in health care service provision and especially for those individuals who are medically uninsured. We asked Covington to highlight the significant impact Stedman-Wade has had in Fayetteville and North Carolina at large, considering that it is the largest safety net provider for medically uninsured and indigent populations in Cumberland County.

“Stedman-Wade provides access to care to patients that can’t afford to get care elsewhere. Our patients get comprehensive primary medical, dental and behavioral health services,” she explains. Stedman-Wade has been joint commission accredited since 2000. “All our sites are Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH),” she says. She further adds: “The care Stedman-Wade gives this community has been far reaching and the patients are so grateful. It is rewarding when patients know that you care about their health” she adds. But being considered a trusted provider has its challenges, notes Covington. “Maintaining provider staff has been a challenge, especially dentists. But, striving to keep our staff and patients safe has been our biggest challenge,” she admits.

As we know, the global COVID-19 pandemic has made its impact felt in all spheres of our lives and in March of 2020, CHCs had to adapt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their settings. Changing the look of patient-provider interactions by modifying physical spaces, moving some appointments to telehealth and training staff and patients to use tele-devices are some of the changes CHCs had to implement. And, as the head of Stedman-Wade, Covington had to cope with these changes even when not knowing what the next day will bring. She’s transferred the same energy to her staff and patients, assuring them that “the organization will be there for them”.

Five people standing next to a sign.

Stedman-Wade staff stand with Congressional staff during a visit.




Raleigh, NC — Recently, HHS and HRSA announced over $3 Million in Quality Improvement awards to North Carolina’s Community Health Centers. Thirty-seven health centers in our state received this important recognition. Of particular note, HHS recognized Kintegra Health, formerly known as Gaston Family Health Services, as a National Quality Leader, an honor granted to only the top 1-2% of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the country. “I am proud and excited for Kintegra that they achieved this in the midst of rebranding and going through other changes—all while maintaining quality that puts them in the top 2% of CHCs nationwide,” said Chris Shank, CEO and President of NCCHCA. “Kintegra Health has pioneered programming that truly focuses on whole-person care, fully embracing behavioral health alongside medical. It is a deep honor and privilege to be recognized for our efforts, and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities with a commitment to providing quality services,” said Erin Myer, Director of Behavioral Health at Kintegra.

Thirty-one FQHCs in the state were recognized for their Patient Centered Medical Home status, and 15 were recognized for their important work reducing health disparities. North Carolina’s Community Health Centers have successfully maintained and improved care quality despite the challenges of COVID-19. As key community partners in testing and education about the pandemic, Community Health Center leaders know that they serve the state’s most vulnerable patients, many of whom are more likely to suffer from debilitating effects of COVID19. Therefore, North Carolina’s FQHCs will continue providing high-quality primary care services, reducing the effects of chronic conditions, and keeping our communities safe and healthy from the pandemic.

The full list of awards can be viewed at

About the North Carolina Community Health Association
The North Carolina Community Health Center Association serves as the collective voice for North Carolina’s 42 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Look-alikes (LAs)—aka Community Health Centers (CHCs). Our members offer a patient-governed, patient-centered health care home that integrates high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and enabling services without regard to a person’s ability to pay.

NCCHCA Resolution to Support Efforts to Curb Climate Change (approved by NCCHCA board on March 27, 2019)

WHEREAS, the mission of NCCHCA is to promote and support patient governed community health care organizations and the populations they serve; and

WHEREAS, scientific evidence for man-made causes of climate change has been overwhelmingly demonstrated 2 ; and

WHEREAS, the southeastern United States is currently experiencing increased coastal flooding, storm intensity, summer heat waves, poor air quality days in cities, wild fires, and vector-borne diseases; and

WHEREAS, recent Hurricanes Matthew (2016), Florence (2018) caused significant facility, operational losses and patient injury across North Carolina community health centers; and

WHEREAS, climate change threatens the fundamentals that sustain life and health—fresh water, food, clean air, shelter, and security endangering the health and sustainability of the communities we serve. 3

WHEREAS, low-income communities are disproportionately affected by the health impacts of climate change; and

WHEREAS, there are less than 30 years to make significant changes in human practices that contribute to green-house gases and global warming; and

WHEREAS, community health centers are authorized under the US Public Health Act, and are key primary care delivery sites within the US public health infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the Health Center Program Statute: Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §254b) subsection (b)(2) authorizes health centers to provide additional services necessary for the adequate support of primary health services including environmental health services, including- (i) the detection and alleviation of unhealthful conditions associated with (I) water supply; (II) chemical and pesticide exposures; (III) air quality; and

WHEREAS, health centers are trusted partners with our patients and community to improve the health of our service area; and

WHEREAS, On October 29, 2018 Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No.80 North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy; and

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the NCCHCA Board of Directors hereby joins the public health community in calling upon local, state, and federal policy makers to adopt swift and effective legislation, considerate to the needs of low-income and vulnerable populations, to curb climate change.

We commit to:

  1. stewardship of our natural resources used in the operations of our facilities and services; and
  2. collaboration with federal, state, and local officials in identifying and implementing efforts to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change at the local level.

Five North Carolina health centers were awarded $4,290,125 for facility renovation, expansion, or construction to serve a projected 10,615 additional patients. NCCHCA congratulates Blue Ridge Community Health ServicesCabarrus Rowan Community Health CentersGaston Family Health ServicesMetropolitan Community Health, and CommWell Health!

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, Health Resources and Services Administration Acting Administrator Jim Macrae announced $1.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 29 North Carolina health centers, all members of the NCCHCA, to recognize health center achievements in providing high quality, comprehensive care

Congratulations to Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers for achieving NCQA Level 2 PCMH at all three locations.

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