Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Suthathip Yaisawarng




chcs, health, status, number, care


Community health centers (CHCs) were started in 1965 by the Office of Economic Opportunity to fight the War on Poverty. CHCs, which provide preventive care to the medically underserved, have grown in number since 1965 and recent reform proposals have recommended further expansion. Prior research assessed the effects of CHCs on health status immediately after the implementation. This thesis assessed whether CHCs were improving the health status of the counties they served in 2005, four decades after their implementation. It was expected that the greater the number of CHCs in a county, the better the health status would be the following year. This study utilized infant mortality rate (IMR) as a measure of health status. The determinants of IMR were poverty rate, insurance status, the number of general practitioners, the number of CHCs, air quality, maternal age, maternal education, and percent of low birth weight babies. The data for U.S. counties with populations greater than 100,000 was primarily obtained from the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Census Bureau. Ordinary least squares was used to perform regression analysis. The number of CHCs in a county had no significant effect on the health status of the county. If the model was misspecified, the effects of CHCs on IMR may not have been fully captured. The provision of preventive care by CHCs may have dissipated to other preventive care organizations over time, as well. Future research should compare the effects of CHCs and other preventive care providers on health status.