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News release, July 17, 2020


Community Health Centers test

nearly 50,000 Arkansans for COVID-19

Additional federal help urged to help through pandemic 

LaShannon Spencer, Chief Executive Officer, CHCA
501.517.0842, lspencer@chc
Seth Blomeley, Communications and Policy Director, CHCA

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Arkansas, Community Health Centers sprung into action, altering business models, arranging for protective gear, implementing telehealth, and instituting mass testing sites and events throughout the state.

Altogether, almost 50,000 people in every corner of Arkansas were tested by CHCs at more than 100 testing sites across the state.

CHCs want to continue our high quality health care services through this challenging pandemic. Unfortunately, more funding will be needed.

As the U.S. Senate deliberates an additional pandemic assistance package, we ask that Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton urge inclusion of additional CHC funding requested by the National Association of Community Health Centers. Senator Boozman has been a particular friend of CHCs, last year signing onto to a multi-year funding bill. A pending House-passed measure includes substantial funding for CHCs.

"Community Health Centers fill a critical need in Arkansas, specializing in serving rural and vulnerable populations," said LaShannon Spencer, chief executive officer of Community Health Centers of Arkansas.

"CHCs continue to be more than happy to do our part in the ramp-up of testing in Arkansas, urged by Governor Asa Hutchinson. We're grateful for assistance we've received from Congress. But make no mistake. More help will be needed to continue high levels of service for our hard-to-reach patients," Spencer said.

The slogan for our testing drive is "Be Sure. Be Tested." The 11 CHCs in Arkansas that participated in the drive have tested a combined 48,340 Arkansans. These are the total number of tests each CHC has performed:
  • ARCare, based in Augusta - 6,877
  • Boston Mountain Rural Health Center, Marshall - 5,305
  • CABUN Rural Health Services, Hampton - 2,244
  • Community Clinic, Springdale - 14,050
  • 1st Choice Healthcare, Corning - 2,094
  • East Arkansas Family Health Center, West Memphis - 4,485
  • Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Pine Bluff - 1,703
  • Lee County Cooperative Clinic, Marianna - 1,792
  • Mainline Health Systems, Dermott - 3,783
  • Mid-Delta Health Systems, Clarendon - 883
  • River Valley Primary Care Services, Ratcliff - 5,124

CHCs are non-profit entities fueled by patient revenue and federal grants meant to expand health care access for low-income, minority, and rural populations. CHCs provide many services including primary care, dental, behavioral health, and health education. Most have multiple clinic sites.

"CHCs must be included in the next relief package to ensure we continue to test and respond to patients amid this escalating pandemic. Afterward, our nation must ensure that CHCs remain strong and viable health care options for all, especially in Arkansas," said Allan Nichols, chairman of the CHCA Board and Chief Executive Officer of Mainline Health Systems.

Health center business has dropped to about 74 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. That's up from 40 percent levels during the March and April shutdowns, but revenues still have ground to make up.

Testing continues.Testing for COVID-19 is free, but insurance information is generally needed if patients have insurance. Regardless of insurance status, no out-of-pocket fees are charged. Please call the CHC nearest you for the available time period most convenient for you. 

Testing is offered in tents, vehicles, or in special rooms separated from regular clinic activity to safely allow everyday patient traffic.

The complete list of all of the testing sites is available here. We also have a toll-free number to receive information on testing sites: 1-833-508-0774. Altogether, 12 CHCs in Arkansas serve more than 220,000 people a year at more than 140 sites.

For more information on Community Health Centers, please visit: and



 Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc.
119 South Izard Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 501-374-8225

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