Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers
The Washington Association of Community & Migrant Health Centers (WACMHC) is a non-profit organization, formed in 1985, to advocate on behalf of the low-income, uninsured, and underserved populations of Washington State served by community health centers. These health centers serve low income and other persons with limited access to health care.
WACMHC is one of 51 State or Regional Primary Care Associations (PCAs) whose members are comprised of the over 5,000 community health centers located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
The Association is owned by its regular membership consisting of community health centers, migrant health centers, and Urban Indian Health Programs. The 22 member health centers operate more than 130 clinic sites across the state, in both rural and urban areas.
Community and Migrant Health Centers:
In 1965, the first community health centers were established to improve health status by providing access to medical care for the poor and other disenfranchised populations. Today, community health centers, including migrant and homeless health centers, are located in every state of the United States, and most territories. They are non-profit, private corporations which, in addition to providing comprehensive primary care services, also serve as vehicles for community development and economic growth.
Community health centers have four core requirements and must:
1. Reach medically underserved communities;
2. Govern with community involvement as non-profits;
3. Treat patients regardless of ability to pay; and
4. Provide a comprehensive scope of services.
Community health centers are an integral part of the communities they serve. Governed by a Board of Directors comprised of at least 51% of actual users, the health centers provide a foundation of community support and responsiveness which ensures user needs are met. All community health centers charge patients according to a sliding fee scale based on income and no one is ever denied services because of an inability to pay. The health center organizations are supported in this effort by a variety of funding sources including federal, state, local, and private grants.
The mission of the Washington Association of Community & Migrant Health Centers (WACMHC) is to promote health and human services for the underserved people in Washington State; ensuring that all Washingtonians have access to primary health care, regardless of geographic location, nationality, income level or insurance status.
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