Brazos Valley Community Action Agency
The Brazos Valley Community Action Agency (BVCAA), a Community Action Agency serving a seven-county area of east central Texas, has been providing family planning services to the low-income population in its service area since the 1970s. Currently BVCAA has established a Comprehensive Outpatient Primary Care facility and six satellite clinics to meet the health care needs of low-income individuals and families in a seven-county area that did not have sufficient health care services for the poor and indigent populations. FQHCs also know as community health centers are local, non-profit or public entity, community owned health care providers serving low-income and medially underserved communities. FQHCs provide high-quality, affordable primary care and preventative services to populations who, even if insured, remain isolated from traditional forms of medical care because of where they live, who they are, the language they speak, and their high levels of complex health care needs.
Although FQHCs have a broad prevention-based perspective on many health problems, they are much like private medical and dental practices, staffed by physicians, dentists, nurses and other health care professionals. They differ however, by the broader range of services provided such as social services, transportation, translation services, health education, and their management structure. In order to maximize limited resources, these private, nonprofit community practices have developed community linkages with specialty providers, local health departments, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, and other community organizations to ensure services are coordinated and eliminate duplication of effort. Although some services may not be available on-site, the health center does coordinate care and referrals to other providers in a way that assures comprehensive and convenient "one-stop caring" for its patients. In 2004, Community Health Centers cared for 562,065 Texans regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.