Community Development

Community Development is the collaborative, collective action taken by communities to enhance their long-term social, economic, and environmental conditions. The primary goal of community development is to create a better overall quality of life for everyone in the community.  The LPCA's Community Development Department assists communities in the establisment and development of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), which are health centers that provide primary care in medically underserved areas.

Education and Orientation 
When the LPCA is approached by communities or organizations that are interested in starting an FQHC, we first respond by helping them understand the basics of an FQHC and then explain how one could address the need for primary care in their area.  

Interested in starting a Community Health Center?  Here's some required reading:

"So You Want to Start a Health Center" - a great resource to have as you prepare to embark on this journey!

Identifying Need
We help communities gain a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the need for primary care in their community, looking specifically at their uninsured and underinsured populations.  This includes gathering and presenting economic indicators and health statistics, as well as identifying the primary care providers currently providing services in their community.

It's important to do your research!
Looking for a place to get started?  
Check out the UDS Mapper! (FREE)

Facilitating Discussions
We help communities plan and convene meetings to discuss their primary care needs and how an FQHC could meet these needs.  Community health needs assessments should be performed - these include public meetings with members of the community who are knowledgeable and concerned about access to primary care, as well as private meetings with local civic leaders.  Is there an established FQHC nearby?  Arrange a meeting.  They can share their experience and may offer ways in which to collaborate.

Planning to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment?  We've teamed up with the National Center for Rural Health Works to provide you with a wealth of resources and information!

Discovering Leaders
The FQHC application process can be a long and bumpy road, requiring steady vision and guidance along the way!  We assist communities in identifying individuals who can lead the effort in establishing an FQHC.  This includes helping with the creation of a steering committee that guides this process forward and identifying a project director who can plan and manage the formation of the new organization.

Locating Funding
We support communities in their seach for funding to establish an FQHC.  This includes identifying local philantropists and foundations that are concerned about access to primary care in their community, as well as finding local, state, federal and private funding opportunities that address the lack of access to primary care.

For any additional information contact
Susie Hutchinson at (225) 927-7662, ext. 212.
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