In 2022, Georgia Primary Care Association (GPCA) celebrated 45 years of supporting Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) which serve communities with primary care and preventive services to our state’s most vulnerable and underserved populations.
Established in 1977 and headquartered in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, GPCA provides management, operational, and clinical expertise, advocacy, and programmatic support for all Georgia FQHCs. In partnership with community stakeholders, state and local governments, and existing and developing health centers, GPCA works to strengthen and expand access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Georgians.
Georgia currently has 35 FQHCs operating across 130 counties with 231 delivery sites serving over 660,000 patients, along with plans to expand to additional underserved communities across the state. This represents a growth of 100% in the number of organizations and 150% in the number of clinic sites over the past 15 years.
FQHCs in Georgia employ almost 4,000 people, including health professionals, administration & support staff. In total, they provide over 1.9 million patient visits annually FQHCs create more than $1.1 billion in total economic activity each year within Georgia’s most underserved communities.
GPCA is dedicated to serving our communities by supporting health centers in their mission to deliver primary care and preventive services to our state’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. FQHCs alleviate the burden on the healthcare system by decreasing preventable hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Health centers are local businesses that are central to their communities. They are economic engines for job creation and local investment that supports many other businesses across the state.
GPCA supports health centers to eliminate barriers to care by serving high-need communities across the state. They provide comprehensive health care services that address the needs of their patients and ensure the availability and accessibility of essential primary and preventive health services, including oral health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder treatments. Health centers are committed to caring for everyone, regardless of ability to pay, with an income-based sliding scale fee schedule.
The public needs to know the vital role that FQHCs play in our health care system. Over the last 45 years, GPCA has been actively educating lawmakers, community stakeholders, and the public at large about the importance of FQHCs in Georgia. GPCA will continue to be a major driver of health policy discussions among state and federal leadership, bringing the voices of its FQHC members and the communities they serve to the table.