Thursday, February 4, 2021
This week the NC Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) submitted a report to a state legislative committee detailing how its member community health center (CHC) organizations have gone above and beyond to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an investment of $12.425m by the NC General Assembly of federal CARES Act funds, CHCs were able to absorb new costs to meet their communities’ COVID-related needs head on. These funds helped CHCs fully adopt telehealth and renovate in-person facilities to promote social distancing and infection control. And most importantly, these funds helped maintain health care capacity and staffing throughout the harshest periods of the pandemic thus far, ensuring that patients could continue accessing primary health care services regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
Since the pandemic began, NC community health centers have conducted well over 150,000 COVID-19 tests. Funds allocated by the state legislature have helped make that possible, as CHCs were able to absorb the costs of supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), temporarily increase staff capacity, and acquire mobile medical units to provide services in community-based locations throughout the state.
Check out this infographic for more highlights of innovative ways that CHCs, also known as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), have risen to the challenge thanks to funds allocated by the state legislature.
Looking ahead, NCCHCA and members look forward to continuing to partner with state lawmakers to care for our communities throughout the pandemic and see to it that every North Carolinian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can receive it. NCCHCA welcomes additional investments into Community Health Centers to allow us to continue and enhance the work that the NC General Assembly has wisely supported thus far.
About the North Carolina Community Health Center Association
Representing the state’s community health centers since 1978, NCCHCA today comprises 42 community health center member organizations, including 39 federally qualified health center (FQHC) grantees and 3 FQHC look-alike organizations, all of which are commonly referred to as community health centers (CHCs). All FQHC and FQHC look-alikes in North Carolina are members of NCCHCA. With funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), NCCHCA is North Carolina’s state Primary Care Association (PCA) and Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN), representing FQHCs to state and federal officials and providing training and technical assistance on clinical, operational, financial, administrative, and governance issues.
North Carolina’s community health centers provide whole-person primary medical care, as well as integrated services—such as dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, substance use disorder, and enabling services—to North Carolinians without regard to their ability to pay. By mission and statute, community health centers provide care in medically underserved communities and to medically underserved populations.