Community Safety Net Clinics (CSNCs) serve patients and families that experience or are at risk of experiencing health disparities due to income level, race and/or ethnicity, geography and other social, economic and environmental realities that contribute to poor health outcomes. CSNCs do not refuse patients based upon ability to pay and provide a variety of services including primary care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, dental, optical and/or specialty care.
CSNCs are very diverse in their models and include:
- Community Clinics (nonprofit, community-based clinics)
- Free or Charitable Clinics (predominately faith-based)
- Residency Clinics (associated with hospitals where medical residents train under the supervision of faculty)
- Other Safety Net Providers (including rural providers and select private practices)
Many CSNCs fund their operations through grants, patient revenue and/or in-kind donations and their clinic staffing models often include a significant number of volunteer providers and support staff. CSNCs have grown organically across Colorado due to forward thinking civic-minded individuals, heath care professionals and systems, churches and other community organizations that recognize that despite the presence of other safety net providers in their communities, there are countless individuals, children and families that still need timely access to health care services.