Public Housing Primary Care Program
Currently, the federal Bureau of Primary Health Care awards PHPC funding to 63 community health centers located in 25 states and Puerto Rico. PHPC health centers deliver high-quality, integrated and family-based preventive and primary health care services:
- To nearly 172,731 public and assisted housing residents.
- Through 809,491 encounters.
PHPC health centers have an integrated approach to delivering primary health care, health promotion, and disease prevention. Each PHPC program provides comprehensive primary health care services, including internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN care, preventive and restorative dental care, health education, outreach, laboratory services, and case management. Many PHPC health centers also provide behavioral health services, pharmacy, x-ray, optometry, and podiatry, along with nutritional services through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
The Public Housing Primary Care program came into existence with the passage of the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990 which built upon earlier, more general health center legislation to create a program that specifically addressed this special population. The following quote is from the legislative history of this important act:
“Residents of public housing tend to be in poor health relative to other populations, yet often do not have access to needed preventative and primary care. The Committee heard testimony that in Washington, D.C., for example, not only is the health status of minorities lower than that of whites, the health status of residents of public housing units was substantially lower than that of other Black city residents. While one in 14 District Black women reported having diabetes, one in four Black women in public housing have diabetes. One in five District Black men and women report suffering from hypertension, one in two Black public housing residents report this disease… In the view of the Committee, these health status disparities are simply unacceptable. The Committee bill would therefore authorize a new program of grants to public or nonprofit entities to provide for the delivery of primary care services, referrals, and health counseling and education services to residents of public housing.“