About the Association > What is a Community Health Center

What is a Community Health Center?

Community Health Centers or CHCs (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers or FQHCs) are non-profit clinics located in medically underserved areas - both rural and urban - throughout Minnesota. They share a mission of making comprehensive primary care accessible to anyone regardless of ability to pay.

Federal legislation requires every FQHC to have a governing board that represents its community. A majority of the board members must be patients who use the clinic's services.



FQHCs focus on improving the health of underserved communities and populations and eliminating health disparities.

FQHCs focus on improving the health of underserved, low-income and uninsured communities and populations in order to eliminate health disparities. FQHCs meet high standards of quality in providing the following to their patients:

  • Basic primary care related to family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology;
  • Diagnostic laboratory and radiology services;
  • Preventative health services including prenatal and perinatal care, immunizations, pediatric screenings, family planning services, and preventive dental care;
  • Care for acute and chronic conditions;
  • Pharmaceutical services as appropriate;
  • Referral services;
  • Patient case management, including counseling, referral, and follow-up services;
  • Services that enable patients to access the health center, such as outreach, transportation, translation and interpreter services.
  • For the uninsured, a sliding fee schedule that takes into account the patientís family size and income.