History of Community Health Centers
The concept of Community Health Centers originates from Dr. Jack Geiger and Dr. Count Gibson, who established the first rural and urban community health centers over 50 years ago. Geiger and Gibson believed that health centers could be used to provide critically needed medical care and social services to lift people and entire communities out of poverty.
In 1965, the Office of Economic Opportunity was tasked with advancing various programs to assist those who lacked access to medical care. Dr. Geiger, Dr. Gibson, and other healthcare professionals seized their opportunity by submitting proposals to establish the first Community Health Centers in Boston, Massachusetts, and Mount Bayou, Mississippi.
These initial community health centers provided resources to connect patients to food, housing, clothing, water, education, jobs, and transportation services. The success and impact of the first two Community Health Centers laid the foundation for more accessible healthcare in America.
History of OKPCA
Founded in 1993, OKPCA was developed by community-minded individuals seeking to diminish health disparities in Oklahoma communities. Using local and federal resources, we advocate for medically underserved individuals to improve health outcomes while driving down the costs for our healthcare system through the implementation of integrated care.
Over the years, we have seen exponential growth in the number of people using CHCs, improving the health of our citizens. Advocacy efforts have seen legislators at local, state, and federal levels support the work of CHCs. In fact, Oklahoma proudly recognizes Community Health Center Week each year.