Who We Are…
Established in 1982, the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) is a nonprofit trade association of community health centers (CHCs) that proudly serves as Illinois’ sole primary care association. IPHCA represents 48 Organizational members—community health centers—that operate over 450 sites in the state of Illinois. There are two IPHCA offices—one in Chicago and one in Springfield. Funding is received from membership dues and various state and federal grants.
IPHCA strives to improve the health status of medically underserved populations by fostering the provision of high-quality, comprehensive health care that is accessible, coordinated, community-directed, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent.
Who We Serve…
IPHCA represents Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or community health centers—entities created by Congress to meet the health care needs of underserved communities and high-risk patients. These centers fill a void by providing care for those whom other providers often do not serve. Since FQHCs must, by law, serve the medically underserved regardless of their ability to pay, CHCs are located in geographic regions designated as having a shortage of medical providers who serve this population. In addition, the medically underserved may be low-income, uninsured, homeless, affected by HIV/AIDS, struggling with substance abuse and/or have special needs. In order to achieve the “federally qualified” status and, therefore, receive federal funding, health centers must:
- Be governed by at least a 51 percent majority patient board who make decisions about programs, services and expenditures.
- Be located in a medically underserved area or provide care to medically underserved populations.
- Provide comprehensive primary and preventive care, including dental and behavioral health.
- Employ physicians who are board certified or eligible for certification.
- Establish a formal relationship with one or more hospitals, which includes admitting privileges and 24-hour access to services.
- Submit comprehensive health plans for the geographic area served.
What We Do…
IPHCA is committed to fulfilling its mission of helping communities help themselves by advocating and expanding community primary care services across Illinois, and assisting member organizations in fulfilling their goal of community empowerment through health care choice. By advocating on behalf of members’ interests, IPHCA also advocates for underserved citizens and communities. Specifically, IPHCA:
- Fosters communication to resolve mutual problems and share successes.
- Provides education and training to enhance the operation of health care services.
- Advocates for the unique interests and contributions of community health centers.
- Provides fiscal and management technical assistance to promote efficiency of CHC operations.
- Assists in the recruitment and retention of professional clinical staff.
- Develops and maintains information systems.
- Promotes linkages between the membership and related organizations and agencies.