Group of people for FQHC.

What is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)?

Group of people for FQHC.

Federally Qualified Health Centers are community-based health care clinics that receive grant funding from the Health Resources & Services Administration, HRSA, to provide affordable & accessible primary care services in underserved areas.  Federally Qualified Health Center recipients may be:

  • Community Health Centers
  • Migrant Health Centers
  • Health Care for Homeless
  • Health Centers for Residents of Public Housing

The purpose of an FQHC is to serve an underserved area or population to create an equitable pathway for access to primary care services in urban and rural communities.  They serve:

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • People who are experiencing homelessness
  • Agricultural Workers
  • Residents of Public Housing
  • Veterans

Lincoln Primary Care Center became an FQHC in 2002, and as it continued to grow, expanding both its services and its service areas, the name Southern West Virginia Health System was created in 2010.  Today, with its most recent merger of Hygeia Facilities Foundation, Inc., into the organization in March of 2023, Southern West Virginia Health System has over 20 health center locations operating in the counties of:

  • Boone
  • Cabell
  • Kanawha
  • Lincoln
  • Logan
  • Mingo
  • Wyoming

Equity in health care means that every person has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health.  The aim of healthcare equity is to make certain everyone has access to affordable, culturally competent health care regardless of economic, social, and other obstacles to health and health care.

Federally Qualified Health Centers have established guidelines they must meet.  A few, but not all, of those requirements are:

  • Serve an underserved area or population by delivering comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care
  • Provide support services such as health education, translation, and transportation assistance
  • Provide services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay and offer a sliding fee scale program to assist those who are uninsured or underinsured
  • Have a governing board of directors
  • Meet requirements regarding administrative, clinical, and financial operations

Yes! Health centers integrate access to:

  • Pharmacy
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Oral Healthcare

In the areas they serve to coordinate the needs of their patient population, who often, have similar barriers to these health services as they do primary care, because of the urban or rural landscape they live in that qualifies as an underserved area.

HRSA stands for Health Resources Services Administration and the programs it provides are to make certain people who are in geographically isolated areas and are economically or medically vulnerable receive access to health care and the resources necessary to improve their health and well-being.