From their beginning as a small demonstration program, community health centers have grown into a foundational part of the American health care system. Today health centers serve as primary health care anchors in thousands of medically underserved urban and rural communities. For this reason, a core part of health policy education and training is a grounding in federal laws and policies that shape and influence health equity and health care access and how these laws have created and enabled community health centers to serve one in 11 Americans today. Key areas of study include the programs and laws of the Public Health Service Act, Medicaid, federal health professions programs, and the Affordable Care Act.
The Geiger Gibson Program has trained scores of public health, public policy, and law students in health center law and policy. Over the years, our funded research assistantships have supported dozens of master’s degree and doctoral candidates, and many graduates have gone on to pursue careers in health center policy and practice in federal as well as state roles. The community health centers program is a key topic in the Department’s policy instruction, thus ensuring that the related health policy considerations reach all of our students.
The program combines this policy immersion with learning opportunities to build student knowledge about the opportunities and challenges associated with establishing, managing, and sustaining community health centers.
The Geiger Gibson program live webinar series focuses on key policy issues and research relevant to community health centers and those they serve. The series features faculty experts and prominent guest speakers and addresses as well as research and reports from the Geiger Gibson/ RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative and our ongoing work in health information technology and other areas. CME/ CNE credit is offered through a partnership with the Clinical Directors Network (CDN), a well-regarded practice-based research network dedicated to developing educational programs and training opportunities for clinicians and other staff who serve low income and minority patients.