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.

Ribbon Cutting At A Chc

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.

Since the launch of the Community Health Centers Program, over 30 million Americans have been served through local Community Health Centers. With long-established bipartisan support for over 40 years, these centers combine local and federal resources to reduce health disparities in low-income and underserved communities nationwide. Community Health Centers allow every family to lead happier, healthier lives and build better communities.

History of OKPCA

Declaration Of Chc Week

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.

We work as Oklahoma’s trade association for Community Health Centers (CHCs), offering training and technical support for our members and advocacy for safety-net providers. By providing comprehensive, integrated care, Community Health Centers and other providers are able to engage individuals and families in improving their health, further strengthening our Oklahoma communities for the future.

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. 

With our 30th anniversary, the team at OKPCA is still dedicated to serving our community by increasing access to medical care and improving health outcomes.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the statewide leader in the positive transformation of health care. By providing comprehensive, integrated primary care, community health centers and other patient-centered providers improve health outcomes while saving the healthcare system money. Innovative patient-centered care uses a team-based approach to deliver better care and engage patients in improving their health.
Advocacy At The Ok Capitol


Okpca Training


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