About The West Virginia Primary Care Association
Our Vision, Mission, Strategic Goals, and History
The West Virginia Primary Care Association will be the leading source of expertise in the delivery of comprehensive primary care services in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Primary Care Association will lead its members to strengthen and support the delivery of high quality, affordable and accessible primary health care through organizational development, advocacy, education and expertise in health policy, quality and innovation.
Our Strategic Goals
- Assist community health centers in demonstrating accountability to communities and strategic partners
- Build community health centers into competitive employers and strengthen workforce capacity
- Advocate for models of healthcare financing that sustain the community health center system of care
- Cultivate consensus among all community health centers to advance unified objectives and assure evidence-based primary care is accessible and affordable
The West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) was founded in 1983. Its history is filled with the hard work of many individuals committed to assuring access to primary care services to the residents of West Virginia. In 1976, a Study Group was formed to act in an advisory capacity to the United Mine Workers Health and Retirement Funds to provide input into the formulation of policy regarding the establishment of new primary care projects in West Virginia. By early 1978, the Study Group represented nearly 100 health care delivery sites. Under the leadership of Dr. Donald Chadwick of the Funds Regional Office, the mission of the Study group was expanded to become the primary advocate for the organized primary care system in West Virginia. This group became the West Virginia Primary Care Study Group.
A critical turning point in the evolution of the WVPCA occurred in the mid-1980’s as a result of controversy surrounding federal block grants. The WVPCA assumed national leadership in maintaining direct funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration as opposed to the block grant channel. With the resolution of the block grant controversy, the West Virginia Primary Care Study Group and the West Virginia Association of Community Health Centers merged to become the West Virginia Primary Care Association. In 2000, the West Virginia Legislature established the Primary Care Line Item which is administered by the Bureau for Public Health, Division of Primary Care to assist health centers to cover the costs associated with uncompensated care.
The mid 1990’s ushered in major health system changes such as widespread provider consolidation, the movement towards managed care, and increased demand to maximize collection from third party payers. New economic incentives allowed strong networks to emerge which assisted health centers to adapt to these changes. The Community Health Network of WV was formed and funded to assist health centers to operate more efficiently through collaboration and to permit a business structure that allowed centers to leverage economies of scale and maximize purchasing power. The CHNWV has led the state in the development of the necessary information technology infrastructure to support complex health data collection, analysis, and reporting requirements necessary to improve health outcomes and demonstrate accountability to the community’s served. The Community Health Network of WV is a membership organization that is derived from the 33 members of the WV Primary Care Association.
Proudly, the WVPCA is now compromised of 30 organizational members with over 200 clinical sites that employ more than 3,297 people, including over 1,000 health care providers. Collectively, the centers provide care for nearly 20 percent of the state’s population (373,346 West Virginians).
For more information, please click this link to download Community Health Centers at a Glance.
The West Virginia Primary Care Association's offices are located in Charleston, WV.
What is a Community Health Center? Visit HRSA to find out more.