Cempa Community Care expands access to primary health care through new federal status

Cempa Community Care is now designated as a community health center by the federal government, enabling the nonprofit to expand its income-based primary care services to cover anyone — not just patients with infectious diseases.

“There’s a huge need for those who are uninsured or underinsured to get health care, and now this will give them more access,” said Cory Howard, chief operating officer at Cempa. Howard said part of the inspiration to work toward the new designation — known as a federally qualified health center look-alike — was seeing the need of Cempa’s current patients’ partners and family members.

Cempa Community Care began as an organization combating HIV/AIDS in Chattanooga in the 1980s under the name Chattanooga CARES. However, CEO Shannon Stephenson said the organization has evolved based on changing needs in the community.

Read the full story by the Times Free Press.

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