Health Center Program: Impact and Growth

Over its more than 50 year history, the Health Center Program has grown from two health centers to nearly 1,400 health centers operating more than 11,000 sites in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.


Health centers deliver care to the Nation’s most vulnerable populations, and now, more than ever, the Nation’s veterans.

Nearly 26 million people – 1 in 12 nationwide – rely on a HRSA-funded health center for affordable, accessible primary health care, including:

  • One in three people living in poverty nationwide
  • One in six people living in rural communities
  • One in ten children 17 years or younger nationwide
  • More than 330,000 veterans – a 14% increase from 2014 – which is expected to increase as more health centers participate in the Veterans Choice Act


1NCHS Data Brief. Hypertension Prevalence and Control Among Adults. No. 220, November 2015.
2National Committee for Quality Assurance, The State of Health Care Quality (2015)
3 Laiteerapong, Neda et al. “Health Care Utilization and Receipt of Preventive Care for Patients Seen at Federally Funded Health Centers Compared to Other Sites of Primary Care.” Health Services Research 49.5 (2014): 1498–1518.
4 Nocon, Robert S. et al. “Health Care Use and Spending for Medicaid Enrollees in Federally Qualified Health Centers Versus Other Primary Care Settings.” American Journal of Public Health, 2016 Nov; 106(11):1981-1989.