A workforce development program for the medically underserved community.
History & Mission of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers:
The Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics has worked to ensure quality, affordable health care for low-income individuals since 1974. Composed of 26 community health centers operating 62 sites throughout Orange County, the Coalition provides services to community residents, technical assistance to member health centers, training and education to students and professionals, and advocacy and outreach to stakeholders and policymakers.
Over its 40-year history, the Coalition has coordinated resources, information, and non-partisan advocacy for health centers and clinics serving low-income clientele. Founded to provide a voice for uninsured participants using safety-net health services, the Coalition has evolved to represent and guide health centers on changing needs in practice, care quality, and sustainability, among other topics. The Coalition is also an established advocate at the state/federal level for resources and policies that support healthcare for underserved communities.
The Coalition organizes activities under four areas: Community Engagement (reaching residents), Technical Assistance (clinic members), Workforce Development (students and professionals), and Advocacy (policymakers and other stakeholders). The Coalition’s work is made possible by a dedicated staff of 11 full-time employees, five part-time employees, and 60 active volunteers via the Health Scholars Program.
Under its role as Orange County’s Area Health Education Center, the Coalition took on the Health Scholars Program in 2015 as a part of its Workforce Development offerings. The HSP supports the strengthening of educational and social foundations for underrepresented and disadvantaged students pursuing careers in health care.
As the healthcare landscape continues to shift, the HSP is motivated by the Coalition’s core beliefs: that healthcare is a human right, that it should be affordable and accessible, and that it should be reliable and sustainable.