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News & Press: MPCA News

MPCA Joins Health Centers in Marking 50 Years of Improving Health Care, Saving Lives

Tuesday, March 17, 2015  
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Michigan Primary Care Association is joining the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in celebrating the success of the Health Center program. Fifty years ago, a ground-breaking experiment in President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty led to the opening of the nation’s first Health Centers in Boston and the Mississippi Delta. The first Michigan Health Center opened two years later, in 1967.

That pilot project has evolved into the largest and most successful primary health care system in the United States. Today, Health Centers now serve more than 23 million Americans, including more than 600,000 Michiganders. They save the nation’s health care system approximately $24 billion annually in reduced overall costs from hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and a Michigan-specific study demonstrates that Michigan Health Centers save the Michigan Medicaid program $12 per beneficiary per month for a projected total savings of nearly $16 million annually.

“Michigan Primary Care Association is a proud sponsor of the 50th anniversary celebration of Health Centers and their historic legacy of improving care, improving health, and reducing costs. We support their mission to provide high quality and affordable health care to ensure access to care for all. Every day, MPCA is working alongside Health Centers to promote, support, and develop comprehensive, accessible, and affordable community-based health care services for everyone in Michigan," said Kim Sibilsky, CEO, MPCA.

With their inception 50 years ago, Health Centers not only formed the basis for quality primary care in America, they also began one of the most successful—and enduring—public-private partnerships in U.S. history. To this day, Health Centers remain small, not-for-profit businesses operated by patient-majority governing boards that meet local health care needs. Every dollar invested in Health Centers means a return on the investment, with more lives saved, reduced health care costs, and more jobs.

To learn more about the Health Center success story, visit and follow #CHC50 on Twitter. To learn more about Michigan’s 40 Health Center organizations that operate over 240 sites across the state, visit

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