New year brings fresh lead for global Community Health Centre movement

The International Federation of Community Health Centres (IFCHC) is excited to announce that effective July 1, 2016 the federation’s global secretariat is moving to Canada and will be managed by the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres (CACHC).

Established in 2013, the IFCHC advances global collaboration in community-oriented primary health care and access to Community Health Centres as an optimal way to achieve the World Health Organization’s vision of health for all and equitable access to primary health care for all. The federation is led by national CHC associations around the globe, along with CHCs that do not currently benefit from a national or state association. Members of national CHC associations are all official members of the IFCHC.

From 2013-16, the IFCHC’s secretariat was located in the Netherlands at the European Forum for Primary Care, and will now transition to CACHC for an initial two-year period, subject to review in 2018.

“We’re very honoured to take on this role,” said Lynne Raskin, Executive Director of South Riverdale CHC in Toronto and CACHC Board Member representative on the IFCHC Directing Council. “Canada continues to occupy a very special place within the global community, and we are excited about the opportunity to increase participation by Canadian CHCs and to strengthen the IFCHC as a voice for global progress.”

Key priorities identified for the IFCHC over the coming year include better connecting individual CHCs around the globe; raising global awareness of the CHC model of primary health care; and broadening IFCHC membership through more accessible, culturally-relevant resources and tools.

“Our commitment to the IFCHC remains strong and we are confident that our Canadian CHC colleagues will help us to move the federation to new heights,” said Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Policy and Research at the U.S. National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and NACHC Representative on the IFCHC Directing Council. “We’re particularly excited about the prospect of finding more tangible ways to connect our CHC members to counterparts around the world, and to promote the value of the Community Health Centre model in other nations across the globe.”

NACHC remains a core global partner in the IFCHC, bringing to bear the resources, experience and energy of over 1200 CHCs throughout the United States.

“Community Health Centres in Australia are wrestling with significant change, particularly in response to national reforms to aged care, disability services and primary care,” noted Tom Symondson, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Healthcare Association and Community Health Australia, based in Melbourne. “The IFCHC and our global CHC networks are key both to helping us grapple with these massive challenges and to demonstrate the crucial role CHCs throughout Australia play in improving health outcomes for the communities they serve. We certainly look forward to working with the IFCHC Secretariat in Canada to contribute the same to our international partners.”

The IFCHC Secretariat at CACHC will be managed by CACHC’s Executive Director, Scott Wolfe, who assumes the additional role of Acting IFCHC Coordinator for the coming year.

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Inquiries and expressions of interest in the IFCHC:
Scott A. Wolfe
Executive Director – Canadian Association of Community Health Centres
Acting Coordinator – International Federation of Community Health Centres
swolfe@cachc.ca / 416.922.5694
Twitter: @ScottAWolfe