About WACMHC

Mission of the Association

To strengthen and advocate for Washington's Community Health Centers as they build healthcare access, innovation and value. 

Values of the Association 

Creativity

We develp and deliver exceptional products and services through innovative thinking and doing build on divergent viewpoints, thoughtful risk-taking and honest customer feedback. 

Equity

We intentionally build a workforce reflective of the community we serve, conscisoulsy embracing diversity of cultural background, race, ethnicity, disability, age, genter identity and sexual orientation. 

Integrity

Because we believe our work matters, we infuse our efforts with honesty, professionalism and competence. 

Service

We fulfill the expressed needs and goals of our members with relevant resources and effective programs, meaningfully delivered, and build on well-informed, timely and practical work. 

Stewardship

To ensure the long-term common good of Washington's community health centers, we consistently work to build on our strengths, shore up our weaknesses and make the most of our resources. 

History of the Association

The Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers (WACMHC) was established in 1985 to strengthen and assist Washington State’s community, migrant, and urban Indian health centers. Currently 27 health centers make up the membership of WACMHC.

Located in Washington’s capital, Olympia, the Association employs a staff of 15 to train, inform and assist health center staff and leadership. We convene work groups, facilitate projects and initiatives among the membership, and connect our members with state, regional and federal agencies and governing bodies. We collect, analyze and report on data critical to our member health centers’ success and advocate for them at all levels.

We are a federally-funded primary care association, one of 52 state and regional membership associations that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the major support for the nation’s community health center system. Born of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, the health center effort first focused on the healthcare needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. During the War on Poverty in the 1960s, healthcare pioneers, who had seen the community health center (CHC) model work well in other countries, applied for funding and, in 1965, America’s first two community health centers were funded in Massachusetts and Mississippi. In 1971 the National Association of Community Health Centers was born. In the early 1990’s the number of health centers in the nation doubled.

Community and migrant health centers in Washington State serve more than 1,035,000 residents at 250+ sites, offering primary, preventive and supportive health services. These clinics are directed by local consumers and respond to the needs of the community, serving all without regard to economic or insurance status.