History of the Community Health Centers
One of the first major steps that began the development of community health centers was the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, signed by President John F. Kennedy (Moran, 2013). Under this law, mental health needs shifted from institutions to community-based programs that helps prevents, identifies and treats mental illnesses (Moran, 2013). Many people realized how institutions were not responding to the higher rates of patients appropriately and questioned its overall effectiveness and lack of holistic practices (Moran, 2013). Since the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, the United States worked on deinstitutionalization so communities can get the health care they needed on a local level (Moran, 2013).
Community health centers, which was originally named neighborhood health centers, first stemmed out of Johnson’s movement against poverty (Taylor, 2004). Being a component of the Office of Economic Opportunity, health centers were established in 1965 to provide health care to the poor and to support local communities (Taylor, 2004). The first health centers were founded by two physicians who wanted to serve two undeveloped areas that were located in Boston, Massachusetts and Mound Bayou, Mississippi with the use of federal grants (Takach, 2008). Instead of being influenced by the state governments, community health centers are funded directly by the federal government in order for the centers to tailor itself to fit the different needs depending on each community (Taylor, 2004). Since it is geared toward local areas, community health centers support local economies and help build job markets (Takach, 2008).
During the first esta...
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...he liability on the federal government, which pays for the coverage, instead of the health care center itself (Taylor, 2004). Hopefully through these programs, health care centers are able to find the staff they need to support underserved populations.
Hurley, R., Felland, L., & Lauer, J. (2007). Community Health Centers Tackle Rising Demands and Expectations. Center for Studying Health System Change, (116).
Moran, M. (2013). Vision Revisited: 50 Years of the Community Mental Health Act. Psychiatric News. Retrieved from http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsArticle.aspx articleid=1769257
Takach, M. (2008). Federal Community Health Centers and State Health Policy: A Primer for Policy Makers. National Academy for State Health Policy.
Taylor, J. (2004). The Fundamentals of Community Health Centers (1st ed.). National Health Policy Forum.
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