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Health Centers: America's Primary  Care Safety Net Reflection on Success, 2002-2005 Health Resources & Services Administration US Department of Health and Human Services

Reflections on Success: Health Center Voices

Providers that serve uninsured, Medicaid, and other underserved and vulnerable patients constitute the primary care safety net. These providers typically are public hospitals, health centers, local health departments, various public and private outpatient and emergency departments, and free or charity clinics.27

Health centers - whether they are supported at the Federal, State, and/or local levels - have been a critical component of our Nation's safety net for more than 40 years. While there is no model health center, all health centers share common attributes: the mission to provide primary and preventive health services to underserved populations; the ability to adapt and survive the challenges of a dynamic health care environment through strong leadership and infrastructure; and the delivery of high quality, cost-effective clinical services that have a measurable impact on health outcomes. Today, health centers continue to deliver high quality, primary care to those most in need and continue to be an integral part of the service delivery system and primary care safety net.

From Connecticut to South Dakota to Micronesia, health centers have made incredible strides in increasing access to care, promoting quality, eliminating health disparities, and improving patient outcomes in many of the Nation's neediest communities. Behind the impressive body of academic research highlighting health center success in these areas are thousands of individual stories of growth, achievement, and excellence. HRSA is pleased to highlight a small sample of these inspiring voices from the field as health centers continue to not only expand but strengthen the Nation's primary care safety net.

Connecticut: East Hartford Community HealthCare, Inc

Federated States of Micronesia: Wa'ab Community Health Center

Georgia: East Georgia Healthcare

Hawaii: Waikiki Health Center

Indiana: NorthShore Health Centers

Iowa: Primary Health Care, Inc.

Kansas: Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

Mississippi: Picayune Family Health Center (Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc.)

New York: Morris Heights Health Center

Ohio: Allen County Health Partners

Oklahoma:Family Health Center of Southern Oklahoma

South Dakota: Falls Community Health

Texas Health Centers

Virginia: Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness (dba Bassett Family Practice)

West Virginia: Primary Care Systems, Inc. and Tri-County Health Clinic, Inc.

Wisconsin: Bayfield County Community Health Center (dba The Lakes Community Health Center)

Health center caregiver with stethoscope examines patient