Neighborcare Health in the '00s
By the year 2000, community health centers had grown to serve 10 million people in communities across the United States. This was due in part to the Health Center Expansion Initiative, proposed by President George W. Bush. The Bush Initiative called for more than 1,200 new health center sites and service expansions in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and oral health, and as a result patient counts nearly doubled for CHCs. During this period, the Health Center Program was reauthorized twice by Congress, affirming continued and increased investment in this community resource.
The 2000s were also a time of major growth and development for Neighborcare Health. Throughout the decade, Neighborcare Health took over operations of five clinics, took on its first major facilities project, celebrated its 40th anniversary, and secured funding to grow the Children’s Health Insurance and Homeless programs.
Major achievements included:
- Taking over operations of the Rainier Beach Medical Clinic, the West Seattle School-based Health Center, the Roosevelt High School-based Health Center, Neighborcare Health at 45th Street, and Neighborcare Health at Pike Place Market.
- Opening the Greenwood Medical Clinic.
- Building Neighborcare Health at High Point to replace the former Joe Whiting Dental and High Point Medical Clinics in West Seattle.
- Beginning construction for the Rainier Beach Medical & Dental Clinic to open in 2011.
- Launching the first major capital campaign to support the Rainier Beach project.
- Celebrating the 40th anniversary and changing the name of the organization from Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers (PSNHC) to Neighborcare Health.
- Being selected as 1 of only 11 health centers in the country to receive Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) grant to enroll children in Medicaid programs.
- Securing funding to double the size of the Housing Health Outreach and REACH teams, creating the opportunity to link coordinated primary and behavioral health services with more supportive housing units in the City of Seattle, increasing care and outreach to people experiencing homelessness by 25% in one year.
During this time, there were more than 1,100 community health centers nationwide providing essential primary health care services to more than 20 million Americans. By the end of the decade, Neighborcare Health was operating 15 community health centers providing services to more than 48,000 Washington residents.