Piedmont Health & the Academic-Practice Partnership

Piedmont Health Service, Inc., originally incorporated as Orange Chatham Comprehensive Health Services, was founded in 1970 in Chapel Hill, NC and today is one of North Carolina’s oldest and largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), created to reduce barriers to primary care access for low-income and other vulnerable populations.

Its mission is “to improve the health and wellbeing of the community by providing high quality, affordable and comprehensive primary health care.” Its vision is “a health community in which all people have timely access to quality health care.”

Like Federally Qualified Health Centers across the nation, Piedmont Health is governed by a Board of Directors which by Federal statute includes a majority of consumers of services, helping to assure community-responsive care. To meet its community health mission, Piedmont Health currently operates 10 general community health center (CHC) sites in four counties (Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Orange) and operates Piedmont Health SeniorCare, a CMS-deemed Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) with two Adult Day Health Centers (ADHCs) in Alamance and Chatham Counties. Each community health center site develops a program of services to meet locally determined needs, and serves any patient who seeks services regardless of residence.

The UNC-CH School of Nursing has a long-standing relationship with Piedmont Health, and the two have formalized a relationship based on mutual goals, respect, and shared knowledge.

Academic-practice partnerships serve as a mechanism for advancing nursing practice to lead change and improve public health. Effective partnerships can create systems for nurses to achieve educational and career advancement, prepare nurses of the future to practice and lead, and provide mechanisms for lifelong learning.

The Invest in Nursing project allows for this partnership to expand its shared mission and roll out a new training curriculum that can support evidence-based care delivery in Piedmont’s health centers in Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, and Orange Counties.

For more information on the role of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), see links below:

North Carolina Community Health Center Association

National Association of Community Health Centers