The Future Role of Health Centers in Improving National Health

Robert M. Politzer, Ashley H. Schempf, Barbara Starfield, Leiyu Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

International health rankings for the US are heavily influenced by striking racial and socioeconomic health status disparities. Current discussions of health determinants frequently relegate or entirely dismiss health care contributions despite increasing evidence of the importance of access to primary care. Health centers deliver community-based primary care to a considerable and growing proportion of the nation's most vulnerable and have produced significant health improvements, especially for women and children. Policies that disproportionately benefit those in greatest need are likely to produce the largest gains in national health. Continued expansion of the health center network to ensure primary care for those who remain underserved is both an effective and politically acceptable strategy to improve national health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of public health policy
Volume24
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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