The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) represents Colorado’s 20 Community Health Centers (CHCs) that together are the backbone of the primary health care safety net in Colorado. CHCs currently provide a health care home to more than 650,000 of their community members from 61 of the state’s 64 counties. One in eight people in Colorado receive health care from a CHC, including 25% of Medicaid enrollees and 25% of CHP+ enrollees. 20 CHCs operate more than 190 community, migrant, homeless, and school-based clinic sites across the state.
In 1982, a small group of visionaries formed a lifelong friendship around a single cause: providing premium health care to all Coloradans regardless of ability to pay.
Their task was enormous. But they had a plan. They would unite and politically mobilize Colorado’s community health centers or CHCs – then a dozen facilities stretched from farm towns to urban neighborhoods. These independent, community-owned, non-profit or public health centers had been providing health care to working families, including people without medical insurance, since the 1970s. The visionaries saw that to meet the needs in their individual communities, a statewide network of like-minded organizations was required. They filled the new network with elite medical talent and adopted a sliding-fee scale so that no person was turned away because of their income. They attracted bi-partisan support from the Colorado statehouse to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. They lifted the community health center movement in Colorado to the next level by launching an alliance – the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN).
Today these community health centers are integral parts of their communities. To ensure that services are geared toward the community they serve, each community health center is governed by a board of directors, which include local business owners, community leaders and other interested citizens. A unique feature of community health center boards is that more than half of the members are patients of their health centers.
Colorado’s Community Health Centers have grown consistently over the past four decades, providing a health care home for working families who struggle to balance increasing health care costs with other financial responsibilities.
Since its inception in 1982, CCHN has made significant strides in ensuring that Colorado’s low-income residents have access to affordable, high quality primary health care. To ensure that all Coloradoans have a health care home, CCHN is committed to 1) educating policy makers and stakeholders about the unique needs of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and their patients, 2) providing resources to ensure that the CHCs are strong organizations, and 3) supporting the CHCs in maintaining the highest quality care.
The staff at CCHN is deeply honored to work on behalf of Colorado’s Community Health Centers. By banding together and putting the needs of Coloradoans above their own territorial issues, the health centers have served hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who otherwise would not have been able to get the health care they need.
The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) represents Colorado's 20 Community Health Centers (CHCs) that together are the backbone of the primary health care safety-net in Colorado.
CHCs currently provide a health care home to more than 550,000 of their community members - one in 10 people in Colorado - including one third of our state’s low-income uninsured, one third of Medicaid enrollees and one fourth of CHP+ enrollees. Twenty Health Centers operate 191 community, migrant, homeless and school based clinics across the state.