Our History

Primary Health Care Services of Northwestern PA was incorporated on January 25, 1985, as a small medical and dental clinic within the Booker T. Washington Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Incorporators were Rev. Ernest Denny, Executive Director, Booker T. Washington Center; Mr. Bobby Harrison, Executive Director, John F. Kennedy Center; Mr. Alex Thompson, Executive Director, Martin Luther King Center; Sr. Margaret Ann Hardner, CEO, Saint Vincent Health Center; and Dana Lundquist, CEO, Hamot Medical Center. On July 1, 1985, the organization was certified as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) under section 330 of the Public Health Services Act.

In 1994, the organization began collaborations with Saint Vincent Health Center, Hamot Medical Center (now UPMC Hamot), Metro Health Center, Martin Luther King Center, John F. Kennedy Center, and the Hispanic American Council to restructure the medical clinics in the community centers under one umbrella. In 1995, the goal was achieved, and the name was changed to Community Health Net (CHN) to reflect the expanded services and locations. The medical and dental offices at Martin Luther King Center and the medical and vision offices at John F. Kennedy Center merged with CHN. In 1996, new satellite offices were opened at the Hispanic American Council, Metro Health Center, Hamot Medical Center, and Saint Vincent Health Center. Also in 1996, CHN purchased a building located in downtown Erie. The building would house the administrative office on the second floor and a medical office on the first floor.

During the period of 1997 through 2001, CHN added obstetrics and gynecology at Highpoint Towers, collaborated with Gannon University and The City of Erie Housing Authority in the Franklin Terrance Gannon Nursing Center, and opened rural health clinics located in Townville, Tionesta, and Tidioute, Pennsylvania.

In July 2004, Community Health Net consolidated its medical practice to 1202 State Street and the dental practice to the Booker T. Washington Center located at 1720 Holland Street.

The organization has received recognition from the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its innovative approach in developing an integrated service network and expansion among community partners. This community-wide effort provides access to health care for Erie’s medically underserved and uninsured populations.

On September 29, 2005, the medical office located at 1202 State Street was renamed the Daniel S. Snow, MD Health Center in recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the organization.

In a continuing effort to expand access to healthcare, CHN collaborated with Stairways Behavioral Health in 2007 and opened a new dental office on the Stairways Campus located at 2922 State Street. Staying true to its mission, in June of 2008 and in collaboration with the Erie Community Foundation, Highmark Foundation and UPMC Hamot Health Foundation, CHN opened a greatly needed oral surgery site at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center at 312 Chestnut Street. On September 27, 2010, CHN opened a 340B In-House Pharmacy within the Daniel S. Snow, MD Health Center. On December 6, 2010, CHN opened another access to healthcare by opening the Harborcreek Health Center at 4401 Iroquois Avenue. In May 2011, a new dental office opened in the Professional Building at 1611 Peach Street. In collaboration with the Housing Authority City of Erie, CHN opened the John E. Horan Garden Apartments Dental Office on November 26, 2012 in the largest public housing complex in Erie.

In 2011, General Electric selected CHN to partner in their Developing Health Program. The program celebrated its two-year anniversary of the partnership for a healthier community on April 11, 2014. The partnership continues with many new ideas and collaborations currently in place.

In 2014, CHN expanded its hours of service at the Daniel S. Snow, MD Health Center and opened the Dr. Nicholas Hosu Dental Suite. With medical and dental co-located at this office, CHN patients now have greater access to healthcare.

After several years collaborating with the Girard School District and responding to the need of the community for age-appropriate primary health care, CHN opened the Girard School-Based Health Center in December 2015. Funding was received from the HRSA Health Center Program and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

In September of 2019, CHN added Integrated Behavioral Health Services. Shortly thereafter in July of 2020, Medication Assisted Treatment was added to our list of services.

CHN made a commitment to address the Social Determinants of Health and recognized the need for Case Management so in July of 2021, this became an additional service which grew as a result of the need to address the barriers to care.

In August 2022, Community Health Net purchased a building next door to 1202 State Street at 1216 State Street. CHN looks forward to beginning construction to expand our services. We hope to partner with others who share our vision and are willing to be part of strengthening the health and wellness in our community, especially for the underprivileged.

Today, CHN’s primary care practice goes well beyond traditional methods in caring for its patients. For example: board certified physicians, continuity of care, access to primary and preventive medical and dental care services, optometry, HIV/AIDS intervention and education, Behavioral Health, and Healthcare for the Homeless. We also offer multi-lingual interpretive services, non-provider services such as health Education and case management, transportation for patients, and 24-hour on call service. CHN has also expanded the functionality of its 340B pharmacy to meet the needs of the community.

CHN is accredited by The Joint Commission Ambulatory Healthcare Accreditation Program.

Community Health Net realizes that the demand of high quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care services for the uninsured and underinsured population in Erie County will continue to grow. CHN’s partnership with community leaders, neighborhood centers, hospitals, companies, local physicians, dentists, and the patients they serve, will enable the development of new ideas and resources to ensure total care to people living within the Erie Community.

Our future vision of growth will take Community Health Net into the rural areas of Erie County, allowing for our mission statement of “To improve the quality of life in our region by providing professional healthcare services with compassion, respect and dignity to all” to continue.

Community Health Net—Everyday people. Extraordinary care

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