"Health centers go beyond the reach of traditional primary care and offer a number of other services that don't just focus on preventing illness but also looking at the factors that cause illness, such as nutrition, housing and unemployment," Simmons Farber says.
Community health centers are actually one of the few venues that command bipartisan support in the otherwise dysfunctional Congress. With about 39% of the programs funded through Medicaid and federal grants, community health centers avoided the impact of the 2% Medicare cuts mandated by sequestration.
"In fact we got more money," Farrell says. "That shows you how great our folks are and it also shows you how much Congress likes the work we are doing. We get results. We are very judicious about our resources. We are lucky that the feds have been as generous as they have been of late but that hasn't been the way it's always been over the last 30 years. We operate on the premise that dollars are scarce and precious and we have to utilize them for the greatest impact."