Mission & History

Asset 2

AHC Celebrates 50 years!

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The Alameda Health Consortium is the regional association of community health centers that work together and support the involvement of our communities in achieving comprehensive, accessible health care and improved outcomes for everyone in Alameda County, California.

Guiding Principles

  • All people have the right to accessible and affordable high-quality health care that prevents illness, promotes wellness, and is sensitive to the unique needs of particular communities and cultures.
  • The barriers that prevent people from seeking care must be eliminated.
  • Individuals and families must be empowered to participate in their own health care.
  • Patients must have access to culturally competent and linguistically appropriate care.
  • Low-income and underserved people play an important role in the formation of health policy at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Building consensus and coalitions around important health issues lead to innovative solutions.
  • Providing quality health care improves the well-being of our communities.
  • By addressing the social determinants of health, we can start to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity.


Alameda Health Consortium was founded as a non-profit organization to advocate for and support community-based health centers in Alameda County that emerged from the national community health center movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Alameda Health Consortium’s current Executive Director Ralph Silber with Christopher Martinez, first Policy Analyst, protesting tax loopholes in Oakland, CA

This dynamic social movement arose because the health care needs of low-income communities were not being met by the mainstream health care system.

AHC’s first Executive Director, Harvey Smith (far left), seated among community members at the Health Policy Forum during Community Health Day in 1982.

Community-based federally qualified health centers now provide access to affordable, high-quality health care, where people are treated with respect and dignity regardless of income, education, insurance status, race/ethnicity, and immigration status.

The late Senator Dianne Feinstein with former AHC Executive Director, Harvey Smith

Since its founding in the early 1970s, the Alameda Health Consortium has grown as a regional association of eight community-based, private non-profit federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs). Together, the member health centers operate more than 105 clinic locations that serve more than 285,000 patients.

Our member health centers formed Community Health Center Network in 1996 to participate more effectively in newly-launched state-managed care programs. The formation of CHCN was built upon over 20 years of collaboration in health policy and advocacy work through the Alameda Health Consortium. CHCN is committed to excellent, affordable care for underserved communities of the East Bay. As a non-profit Medi-Cal managed care organization, it provides business administrative support for community health centers to focus on what matters most–patients.