Who We Are
The Community Health Center Association of Mississippi (formerly the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization comprised of 21 Community Health Centers providing quality comprehensive healthcare in accredited medical homes. Our health centers provide care to over 280,000 patients within 187 sites throughout Mississippi’s underserved communities. Community Health Centers generate more than a quarter of a billion dollars per capita to our state’s economy. For over three decades, we have provided our members with exceptional training, technical support, and advocacy at the state and federal level.
Established in 1981 as the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association, CHCAMS provides a variety of training and technical assistance services to its members, including recruitment of health care professionals, education and training activities, and national and state-based advocacy.
CHCAMS covers the costs of its operations through the receipt of federal grant funds, membership dues, and funds generated by the sale of services to members. CHCAMS has four categories of membership – organizational (voting) and associate, business, and individual (non-voting).
CHCAMS’s member Mississippi Community Health Centers (MS-CHCs) are located in both rural and urban areas across the state. These health centers provide complete preventive and primary health care services at 187 delivery sites across Mississippi. Health services are also provided via school-based clinics and mobile units staffed by CHC clinicians and support staff. In 2015, CHCs provided comprehensive primary care to approximately 300,000 Mississippians through nearly 900,000 visits.
CHCs are staffed by a team of board certified/eligible physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, social workers and other clinical and non-clinical professionals. MS-CHCs provide a wide variety of services including medical, dental, pharmacy, optical, social services, behavioral health, x-ray and laboratory, tobacco cessation, health and wellness, and transportation.
CHCs provide significant statewide benefits that go beyond patient care. MS-CHCs employ more than 1600 staff and are projected to exceed $650 million in total economic impact for Mississippi by 2017. Overall, nationally CHCs save the national health system approximately $24 billion annually. The GAO reports that CHCs benefit the traditional healthcare system by reducing expenditures, reducing unnecessary emergency department utilization, and providing access to primary care for medically disadvantaged patients.
As an advocate for vulnerable populations seeking access to basic health services, CHCAMS works with its member CHCs, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the Mississippi State Department of Health, and a host of cooperative agencies and partners to ensure the continued growth of community-based programs, services and centers providing quality, affordable health care for Mississippi’s most vulnerable and medically indigent populations.
In 2016, CHCAMS conducted an extensive external stakeholders survey to evaluate the perceptions and partnerships of our CHCs in Mississippi. The survey results highlight that almost 60% of partners and external stakeholders say that MS-CHCs are impacting health outcomes in Mississippi and that our community health centers make great community partners.
Other key findings show:
- 59% MS-CHCs purpose and services meet community health needs.
- Almost 50% can identify 5 or more community health centers in Mississippi.
- 80% are likely to refer a friend/patient to a MS-CHC for their health care needs.
- External stakeholders recognize our centers as Primary Health Care providers, Community Clinics and Family Health Care.
- 57% have partnered with a MS-CHC in the last 12 months.
(Revised August 2016)
CHCAMS supports its members in their collaborative efforts, and advocates for the provision of equal access to quality, comprehensive health care services and for the elimination of health disparities in the state.