National Association of Community Health Centers

NACHC is a voice in Washington for the Center

Along with many partnerships the Center for Family Health nurtures in Jackson and Hillsdale counties, it has one partner located hundreds of miles away in Bethesda, Maryland.

The National Association of Community Health Centers, called NACHC, keeps an eye on legislation affecting health centers from coast to coast, and it helps the Center for Family Health learn about trends and developments among the nation’s 1,300 community health centers.

Founded in 1971, NACHC believes community health centers are vital to the U.S. health-care system, and the association plays an advocate’s role within the realm of public policy-making.

“Health centers depend in large part on public financial help and need a unified voice and common source for research, information, training and advocacy,” the association says on its website.

NACHC’s services cover four general areas: providing research-based advocacy for health centers and their clients; educating the public about the mission and value of health centers; providing training and technical assistance to health center staff and boards; and developing  alliances to foster delivery of primary health care services to communities in need.

“We joined NACHC in about 1995 or 1996 for a couple reasons,” said Molly Kaser, CEO of the Center for Family Health.

“First, to enlist their advocacy experience in getting our Health Resources and Services Administration application approved to be a Federally Qualified Health Center lookalike. And, secondly, to learn more about the requirements of being an FQHC, and to share information with other health centers.”

The Center for Family Health was successful in its effort to become designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center, and Kaser said the Center continues to value membership in NACHC.

Membership opens pathways to share information with other health centers, and it provides an advocacy voice in the federal arena, Kaser said.

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