The health center movement began with the creation of the migrant health center program, followed by neighborhood health center demonstration projects initiated in 1965 as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty. It was recognized that by addressing the untreated health problems of the poor, the economic burdens of these communities could be reduced. Health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care. These include low income populations, the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing. Health centers have provided and continue to provide comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

Health Center Program Grant Funding

Public and private non-profit health care organizations may apply to receive section 330 funding. The application package (also called application guidance or application instructions) includes detailed instructions, required forms and/or links to them, and complete information on program requirements. Public and private non-profit health care organizations are encouraged to visit, where open funding opportunities are listed.

  • New Access Points Grants provide funding to support new service delivery sites that will provide comprehensive primary health care and access to oral and mental health services. Applicants can be existing grantees or new organizations that do not currently receive section 330 grant funds.
  • Expanded Medical Capacity Grants provide funding to expand access to primary health services in the health center's current service area (e.g. by adding new medical providers or medical services or expanding hours of operation). Only existing grantees are eligible to apply.
  • Service Expansion Grants provide funding to add new or expand existing mental health/substance abuse, oral health, pharmacy, and enabling services for special populations at existing health centers. Only existing grantees are eligible to apply.
  • Service Area Competition Grants provide ongoing competing continuation funding for service areas currently served by health center grantees. Both currently funded section 330 grantees whose project periods have expired and new organizations proposing to serve the same areas or populations being served by existing section 330 grantees may apply.

Applicants must document need for primary care services in their area, their plan for addressing these needs, the history and clinical capacity of their organizations, the environment of the communities they serve, and provide detailed budget and staffing information.

Applicants also must demonstrate compliance with all relevant program requirements and related Federal and State requirements.

All applications are assessed for eligibility and are reviewed through an objective process. All applicants are sent written notification of the outcome of the objective review of their applications, including a summary of the objective review committee's assessment of the application's merits and weaknesses, and whether the application was selected for funding.

FQHC Look-alike Designation

Public and private non-profit health care organizations may apply for look-alike designation (designation without section 330 funding) at any time. The review process takes about four months. Look-alike FQHCs must meet the same program requirements as FQHCs that receive section 330 funding and are eligible for many of the same benefits.

Starting an FQHC

CPCA has compiled a document with resources to assist interested parties in learning more about the steps to establish an FQHC or FQHC lookalike. Click here to download this document.

CPCA Staff Contact

Please contact Emily Shipman, Assistant Director of Health Center Operations, at or call (916) 440-8170 for all FQHC program inquiries.