Throughout the country, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have become an integral part of the health care safety net for a vast majority of uninsured or underinsured patients needing care.
FQHCs began in 1964 when the Economic Opportunity Act was created by President Lyndon Johnson to develop neighborhood health centers. The term Federally Qualified Health Centers was first used in 1989 and was added as a Medicare benefit in 1991. More recently, FQHCs were a key part of the Affordable Care Act, which highlighted the importance of primary care in underserved areas across the country. Today, there are more than 1,100 FQHCs in the United States.
An Advocate for Health
Locally, Community Health Centers, Inc. in Central Florida is one of our region’s largest not-for-profit providers of health and wellness services, caring for nearly 70,000 patients annually and contributing $87.9 million in economic impact on our region.
As an FQHC, Community Health Centers, Inc is a community-driven organization dedicated to serving patients and their families locally, in the neighborhoods that they live and trust. Their mission is to provide quality, compassionate healthcare services to many diverse communities, and do so in a way that consistently overcomes economic, cultural and geographic barriers.
Their strength is in their constant focus on being a community partner that cares for the whole person. They view patients as being individuals who deserve specialized care. Each patient has unique needs, and they strive to develop programs that meet these needs while exceeding the expectations of those receiving care.
Programs such as pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, dental, optometry, behavioral health, OB/GYN, pharmacy and laboratory services have been designed to meet a significant need for their patients, as many of them are managing chronic, life-long conditions such as diabetes. Additionally, the Hospital to Medical Home transition program is designed for patients who are hospitalized at local hospitals and need transitional care.
Giving Back to the Community
Beyond healthcare services, Community Health Centers strives to be an active, visible and engaged member of the communities they serve.
“It is my personal belief that if you are a business or organization that is based in a community, then you need to take on the responsibility of being an active leader in improving the overall wellness of your community,” says Margaret Brennan, President/CEO of Community Health Centers. “This is very important to me not only as a leader but also personally as an individual in our community. I am very fortunate that our employees share in this passion.”
Board and team members participate in numerous programs and events to give back to the community.
“Whether it be volunteering at a local food pantry or helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity, or taking part in a community parade to recognize and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., we proudly share in the excitement and importance of these events,” says Brennan.
What It’s All About
Community Health Centers is prideful of the fact that they help to improve quality of life within the region. Providing healthcare means much more than just treating the sick. It’s about overall wellness and education.
It’s about prevention and convenient access. It’s about supporting mental, emotional and physical health. It’s about being there when a friend or neighbor needs you most. That is who Community Health Centers is and strives to be.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.chcfl.org or call 407-905-8827.
Margaret Brennan to Retire After Distinguished Healthcare Career
Community Health Centers, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer Margaret Brennan has announced that she will be retiring early next year.
One of the region’s largest non-profit organizations, Community Health Centers, Inc., employs over 540 team members and cares for 70,000 patients annually throughout Central Florida. While under Brennan’s leadership, the organization has achieved significant growth while providing quality, compassionate primary healthcare services to Central Florida’s many diverse communities.
Brennan’s health centers have earned many industry quality awards and was chosen as a Best and the Brightest Company to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). They were also recognized for three consecutive years as an Orlando Sentinel Top 100 Company for Working Families. They also earned accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). In addition, Brennan has been instrumental in launching the organization’s Hospital Transition Program, which ensures a seamless transition of care for patients from the hospital to primary and specialty care providers.
“I’m extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish at Community Health Centers,” says Brennan. “I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to lead a community-driven organization dedicated to serving patients, in the neighborhoods they live and trust. Our tireless work in providing healthcare excellence has been a bridge over economic, cultural and geographic turbulence.”
Brennan is a strong believer in giving back to the communities in which she lives and works. She has served as a board member for PCAN, Dental Care Access Foundation, Sexual Assault and Treatment/Victim Services, Special Care Inc., West Orange Health Alliance, and the University of Central Florida School of Nursing Advisory Board.
As a registered nurse, she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the National Omicron PSI Honor Society and the American College of Health Improvement. Additionally, she was a Home Town Health Care Award recipient and, most recently, recognized as one of the Orlando Business Journal’s CEOs of the Year for 2019.
“I would like to offer my personal and professional appreciation for the leadership and guidance that Margaret has provided during her time with Community Health Centers,” says Board Chair Nathaniel Friends. “Our communities are healthier because of the outstanding work and dedication of Margaret and her teams. She has been a true visionary and her legacy will continue to shine for many years.”
Following her retirement, Brennan says she looks forward to remaining an active and visible part of the Central Florida community, where she intends to continue volunteering. She looks forward to traveling and spending time with husband John and extended family.