Q: My sister is a nurse practitioner. I recently overheard her talking about the importance of “community health centers,” but I’m not sure I understand what they are and what they do. Can you explain?
A: What a great question! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines them as “community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care.” Community health centers specialize in treating underserved populations by offering primary and behavioral care under one roof.
Accordia Health is a good example of how they work: Our clinics in Bayou La Batre (in Mobile County) and Rockford (in Coosa County) are both Federally Qualified Health Centers that offer what’s known as “integrated care.” Simply put, “integrated care” means people can receive physical health and behavioral health services in one location.
Why are community health centers so important? Because they provide a needed safety net for economically vulnerable people who otherwise might not be able to afford health care. Discounts on services are based on a sliding fee scale depending on household size and income.
It was a great honor for us when Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey toured Accordia’s Rockford clinic and praised it as an example of how the medical community can better serve rural Alabamians. During her visit, she pledged to study how the state might replicate the Accordia model.
Now that you know more about community health centers, if you would like to experience one for yourself, give our offices a call toll-free at (833) 921-1810. You can find us in Bayou La Batre at 13833 Tapia Avenue and in Rockford at 9518 U.S. Hwy 231.
Accordia Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center. Accordia accepts all patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay and offers a wide variety of services through a sliding fee scale.