For community health centers, innovation is a day-to-day part of caring for their communities and often happens by necessity. Health centers care for underserved communities, often contending with a wide range of social determinants of health, which frequently equates to patients with complex needs and limited resources. Health centers have been stretching resources to care for the needs of their communities for more than fifty years. They provide comprehensive, culturally competent, responsive care to their patients each day. As our health care system continues to evolve and transform, health centers are ideally positioned to serve as the foundation from which to build. With a proven record of both innovation and agility to maximize resources, further investment and opportunities to pilot new solutions to address the needs of their patients and community can improve health outcomes and move us toward true health equity.
Serving nearly 30 million patients annually, we are ready to ambitiously pursue innovative solutions that improve the health outcomes of the communities we serve. Already our members exemplify innovation in population health, health information technology, behavioral health, emergency response, and specialty care. With the current pandemic, there is even greater need for investments in innovations that make our workforce more efficient, while maintaining a high quality of care.
In order to build a community-based continuum of care that can change how we deliver services underserved populations, we will need more sophisticated analytics, recognizing health outcomes and operational excellence, and tools that can drive innovation.