Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Leading innovation in community health

James Hunt, MUA, CAE1, Elmer Freeman, MSW2, and Ellen Hafer, MTS, MBA1. (1) Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, 100 Boylston Street, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02116, 617-426-2225, jhunt@massleague.org, (2) Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, 716 Columbus Avenue, Suite 398, Boston, MA 02120

In Boston, community health centers are the locus where public health practice, community medicine, and the socioeconomic determinants of health come together to influence the health of underserved communities and vulnerable urban populations. Early development of community health centers in the late 60's and early 70's was supported by the City of Boston's Department of Health and Hospitals as health centers became the strategy for establishing community-based primary care and public health services in the hands of the people in the neighborhoods of the city.

Since the founding of the first health center here at Columbia Point the community health centers of Boston have led the movement in innovation and demonstration in community health. From the founding of the first in the nation community health center based health maintenance organization, Neighborhood Health Plan; to being the catalyst for the creation of the Federal Healthy Start Program to eliminate disparities in infant mortality in black communities across the country. Today community health centers in Boston and Massachusetts are viewed with greater interest in the health reform agenda as the option for realizing cost savings while ensuring quality; providing linguistically and culturally competent care for an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse population; and as stable community assets contributing to the economic development and health of the community. This session will look to the future role of community health centers as vital partners in our nation's safety net of providers.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Health Centers, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Community Health Center Movement: 40 Years Promoting Social Justice and Health Equity for the Underserved

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA