Health Center Week Celebrates Tennessee’s Community Health Centers

Governor Lee applauds the critical role Tennessee’s health centers play in the well-being of our state’s communities.
August 5, 2021
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Governor Bill Lee, along with the Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA), the membership organization for the state’s community health centers, has declared August 8-14, 2021, Health Center Week in Tennessee. Health Center Week is a national annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
Tennessee is home to 30 community health center organizations that deliver comprehensive primary care services through nearly 200 sites across the state. Health centers have locations in 70 of the state's 95 counties. Health centers are locally operated non-profit businesses that help power the state’s economy by generating $657 million in economic activity and employ more than 3,000 people. In 2020, Tennessee's community health centers served more than 434,000 patients and provided more than 1.5 million patient visits.
The mission of health centers is to provide comprehensive primary care and non-clinical services to all patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. In addition, access to care remains a challenge in remote and underserved areas of Tennessee, where there are provider shortages, and the nearest doctor or hospital can be 50 miles away. Tennessee’s community health centers often serve as the only providers of affordable primary care services in underserved urban and rural areas.
Community health centers do not just provide medical care, they tailor their services and support to meet the needs of their communities and address poverty, homelessness, substance use, mental health, lack of nutrition, and unemployment. Tennessee’s health centers are a critical piece of the health care systems, and they collaborate with hospitals, local and state governments, social, health and business organizations to improve health outcomes for our state’s underserved populations.
Throughout the pandemic, Tennessee's health centers pivoted to serving their communities through telehealth and ensuring patients had access to food and housing resources. 91% served as COVID-19 testing sites and, to date, Tennessee’s community health centers have provided more than 35,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.
About TPCA
The Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA) is committed to ensuring access to quality, comprehensive, and holistic health services for all Tennesseans. As the membership organization for the state’s community health centers, TPCA’s mission is to provide leadership, advocacy, and support as the voice of 30 non-profit primary care organizations. The association is a bridge between community needs and the decision makers at the federal, state, local, and corporate levels. 
TPCA was formed in 1976 as part of the national community health center movement. Today, TPCA continues to serve its members through collaboration, state and federal advocacy, and support through training and technical assistance. As part of the collective effort to maximize access to health services for all Tennesseans, TPCA ensures the state’s community health centers can provide critical access, serve as trusted health care leaders, and deliver integrated care based on the unique needs of their communities. Learn more at