Primary Care Associations (PCAs)

CHAMPS is a Regional Primary Care Association (PCA) serving Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY). Most individual states or pairs of states (and one other region) have PCAs.

In order to better understand PCAs, please click or scroll down for:
PCA Introduction
Training & Technical Assistance (T/TA)
Finding a PCA in Region VIII and Nationwide
Other Online Resources


Primary Care Associations (PCAs) are private, non-profit organizations that support the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program. State and Regional PCAs receive Cooperative Agreement funding from HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) to provide training and technical assistance to potential and existing (see below) health centers and other safety-net providers, support the development of health centers in their areas, enhance the operations and performance of health centers, and develop strategies to recruit and retain health center staff. State-based PCAs also assist in planning the growth of health centers in their states and help communities apply for and obtain funds for new health centers. In 2017, over 1,400 Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes were supported by PCAs nationwide, including 66 in Region VIII.

Click HERE to read the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association’s informational flyer about PCAs, Primary Care Associations: Strategic Partners for Shared Success in the Health Care Safety Net.

Potential vs. Existing

Potential health centers are organizations seeking status to become Health Center Program grantees (through Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act); this includes Planning Grant awardees and/or other community-based safety net providers
Existing health centers are current Health Center Program grantees (through Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act) and Health Center Program Look-Alikes (previously known as Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alikes)

To learn more about Health Centers, link to the CHAMPS About Health Centers webpage.

Visit BPHC’s Health Center Program website for additional information.

To learn more about look-alike health centers, visit HRSA’s Health Center Program Look-Alikes webpage.


HRSA/BPHC supports Cooperative Agreements (CAs) with a variety of national, regional, and state organizations, including PCAs, to provide training and technical assistance (see below) to health centers and other safety net providers. These CAs take advantage of each organization’s unique ability to work with providers, policy makers, program administrators, states, and communities to improve the health of underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) includes:

• Training and technical assistance on fiscal and program management
• Operational and administrative support
• Program development/analysis
• Primary care/clinical care development and operations
• Support to meet the needs of special populations
• Support to develop and implement health and other information technology systems

The benefits of the BPHC-supported T/TA include:

• Clear understanding of the Health Center Program requirements and policies
• Peer to peer assistance in the development and operation of successful programs
• Training and advice from experts in resolving issues in administration, management, governance, fiscal, and clinical areas
• Performance and operational improvement

To learn more about the areas of assistance provided by BPHC and these CA partnerships, visit BPHC’s Strategic Partnerships webpage.

To learn more about the programs and services that CHAMPS provides, visit the CHAMPS Overview webpage.


Follow the links below to learn about PCAs in Region VIII and nationwide.

Colorado – Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN)
Montana – Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA)
North and South Dakota – Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD)
Utah – Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH)
Wyoming – Wyoming Primary Care Association (WYPCA)

For other states and regions, please visit CHAMPS’ National PCA Links webpage.


BPHC National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs) 
HRSA/BPHC’s National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs) provide broad technical assistance as well as focused training on special populations including migrant and seasonal farmworkers, people experiencing homelessness, public housing, LGBT, elderly, children in schools, and Asian American/Pacific Islander populations.
HRSA – National Training and Technical Assistance Partners
CHAMPS – National Training and Technical Assistance Partners

Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCN)
HCCNs collaborate with PCAs. HRSA refers to a Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) as: “A group of safety net providers (a minimum of three collaborators/members) collaborating horizontally or vertically to improve access to care, enhance quality of care, and achieve cost efficiencies through the redesign of practices to integrate services, optimize patient outcomes, or negotiate managed care contracts on behalf of the participating members.”
HRSA – About HCCNs
HRSA – Find a Health Center Controlled Network

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Annual State/Regional Primary Care Association Conference for PCAs and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) to focus on key issues and strategies affecting health centers.
PCA & HCCN Conference

Primary Care Offices (PCOs)
State-based offices that provide assistance to communities seeking Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designations and funding for health centers, working collaboratively with PCAs to increase access to care.
HRSA – List of PCOs Nationwide
CHAMPS – List of PCOs in Region VIII