After 130 days of funding uncertainty, North Carolina Community Health Centers are grateful to Congress for reauthorizing CHC funding through September 30, 2019. Without this funding, health centers faced a 70% cut in mandatory federal funding eliminating care for over a quarter million North Carolinians.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which passed on February 9, 2018, included $7.8 billion dollars in federal grant funding for the Community Health Center program. The continued funding will maintain access to integral services provided to 27 million patients at 1400 community health centers across the nation. NC CHCs are also thankful for protection of the National Health Service Corps, a loan repayment program that is vital to our ability to recruit and retain providers in North Carolina’s rural and medically underserved areas.
North Carolina Community Health Centers served more than 500,000 patients in 2016. There are now 42 CHCs operating in North Carolina, with well over 220 CHC sites located in 85 counties and serving patients from all areas of the state.
With funding restored for FY18 and FY19, these small businesses providing healthcare around the state can continue doing what successful businesses do: improve services, expand in areas of need, and hire the best people for the community-based, sustainable, and life-saving jobs at Community Health Centers.
Community Health Centers excel at empowering patients to take personal responsibility for improving their own health outcomes. They provide comprehensive access to primary care, and offer integrated dental, pharmacy and mental health services. Wrap-around services are used to address patient needs that go beyond the provider visit. Serving on the front lines in the fight against the opioid abuse epidemic and childhood obesity, CHCs operate as the only comprehensive providers of healthcare in many rural areas of our state.