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Starting Point: Free clinic (1972)

Organizing Strategy: Extrapolate regional model of primary care based on experience; develop reliable systems; tap funding sources; non-profit run as business with local access and centralized admin support

Tools: latest in primary care technology and training; talented staff

Outcomes: Serving more than 100,000 patients with quality primary care, running a successful, non-profit business, developing innovations in treatment and access

Prime Resource:

CHC Inc. in its 40 year history has developed collegial and collaborative relationships with hospitals and specialists who have started out skeptical, but impressed that CHC delivers. CHC has an operational model of semi-autonomous sites combined with core support functions and the advantage of being able to swing resources to bear on problems that transcend individual sites or disciplines that fits with a more distributive economy.

Working outward from a base in Middletown, Connecticut, CEO Mark Masselli and Senior VP and Clinical Director Margaret Flinter have led the development of a model of primary healthcare delivering medical, dental and behavioral health that serves 130,000 patients in a dozen cities, maintains high standards of care, and is on the cutting edge of technology. CHC Inc is one of 1300 federally qualified centers providing a safety net for over 20 million Americans. It is a non-profit governed by a community board, with coordination of sites mixing local autonomy and a core of administrative services. Community Health Center, Inc. has become a nationally recognized center of innovation with a post-graduate residency for Nurse Practitioners, and “Project Echo,” which provides access to experts in specific areas of complex care (ie, pain and opiates) via video conferencing to a wide swath of primary care providers.

CHC, Inc. is the healthcare home that works to keep our patients – and our communities – healthy. We incorporate prevention and health promotion, treatment of illness, and management of chronic disease – often all during the same visit. But CHC goes beyond the traditional health services to bring care wherever you are, using innovative service delivery models and state of the art technology.

The degree of autonomy for sites, each with its own set of community demographics and conditions, is balanced against the needs of the major program areas (medical, dental, behavioral health) which stretch across all sites. The points of coordination are (1) leadership, (2) administrative and technical support, (3) pods where clinical staff work together, (4) public outreach and intake.

The net effect for patients is a one stop care visit, where even most lab testing and in some sites, pharmacies are on site. As CHC has become a respected and leading player in primary care, warm hand-offs to specialists and collegial relationships with local hospitals and academic institutions have become the rule.

CHC’s annual Weitzman Symposium, has been held on the campus of Wesleyan University, before moving to a virtual platform, and has achieved a national reputation for identifying and presenting the most innovative practices.