Community Clinics Initiative: Strong Clinics, Healthy Communities
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History & Origins

Since 1999, CCI has been engaged with community clinics in California to help build their capacities and those of their networks and consortia by providing resources, evidence-based programming and evaluation, education, and training. CCI's grants and related programs have supported individual clinics, networks and the community clinic field statewide.

2007: Major Capital Campaign Gifts and Green Buildings
In 2007 we offered our final round of funding for Major Capital Campaign Gifts.  We also included in this RFP a one time modest Green Buildings grant opportunity focused on environmentally sustainable renovations of clinics' buildings, spaces and/or operations.

2004 - 2006: Stabilizing Technology Infrastructure and Major Capital Campaign Gifts
Stabilizing Technology Infrastructure

As we approached the end of the Technology program, we looked to help clinics refine systems and processes to ensure that their technology improvements could be sustained after CCI funding was no longer available. In 2004, $3,289,123 in grants were made primarily to collaborative efforts to strengthen existing technology infrastructures, building on what had been put into place over the past few years.  2005 was our final round of funding for our Technology Program.  $4,000,000 in grants were made to stabilize and secure clinics' existing IT infrastructures.  Blue Shield of California Foundation contributed $1,000,000 to this round of funding to advance the technology capacity of community clinics and improve the quality of health care in low income communities.

Major Capital Campaign Gifts
In 2004 - 2006, we continued to offer Major Capital Campaign Gifts under our Building Capacity program, emphasizing the importance of a vigorous capital campaign and the Elements of Strong Clinics in successful facilities development projects.  In three rounds of annual funding, we granted $6,702,000 to the capital campaigns of 31 projects.  

2003: Strategic Investments and Building Capacities
Strategic Investments in Technology

In 2003 we introduced Strategic Investments in Technology, which focused on those projects that built on our successful experience and extended the possibility of technology innovations to the widest range of clinics for lasting impact.  We granted $2,850,000 to support collaborative efforts that were implementing a broad and ambitious vision of the role of clinics and community health centers as community institutions.

Building Capacities
In 2003, CCI launched its second major program, Building Capacities. The goal of Building Capacities is to help clinics strengthen and sustain their infrastructures so they are able to increase access to care, more effectively serve their patients and become more powerful change agents in their communities now and into the future.  Facilities improvement can increase access to care through the design of a space that is physically efficient and responsive to patient needs. An expanded facility improves access through the increased amount of physical space available for seeing patients or an ability to provide additional services.  In a broader context, an improved facility improves access by making a statement to the community of the clinic’s permanence and commitment to its mission. It conveys an understanding of its place and power in addressing health needs and being a change agent. In this way, a strong and sustainable clinic becomes a community asset and gains community commitment to keeping it vibrant in the long run. 

Other Building Capacities program activities include supporting training and technical assistance for clinics so that they can improve upon and achieve the "Elements of Strong Clinics." These capacities are essential to the long-term sustainability of community clinics and are factors for greatest success in any major undertaking by the clinic.

In 2003, the Building Capacities grants totaled $6, 765,322.  We made 72 Building Organizational Strength grants to clinics for a wide range of infrastructure and capacity improvement projects, including fund and board development, business planning, and strategic planning. We also made grants to 16 clinics to contribute to their major capital campaigns, which were in support of their facility improvement programs.

2001 & 2002: Information Systems and Community Extranet
In 2001 and 2002, CCI continued to strengthen clinics' information systems through granting an additional $18 million. An important element of the work was to launch an extranet enabling grantees and CCI staff to exchange ideas and lessons learned from the field, to streamline grantee reporting, to allow CCI to deliver technical assistance, research findings and updates, and to build the capacity of clinics to more strategically use information technology.

2000: Internal Systems
In 2000, CCI invested over $7 million to strengthen the internal systems of a wide range of community clinics in California. This included bringing as many clinics as possible to a minimum level of technical capacity, as well as supporting clinics' connectivity both internally and between clinic sites. CCI helped clinics and clinic collaboratives prioritize information technology in their long term planning.

1999: Y2K Project
The first CCI effort was the Y2K project, which granted $2.8 million to 46 clinics and 15 clinic collaboratives. The goal was to address technological issues associated with the arrival of the year 2000. The Y2K grants were an important and early response to clinics' needs, and represented for many clinics the first step in improving their information systems.