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Happy Farmer

Our Mission

The Mission of Bluegrass Community Health Center is to provide an accessible Health Home that promotes better health, better life, and serves all people with care and respect.

Our Story

    Bluegrass Community Health Center (BCHC) was established on April 1, 2001, originally named the Bluegrass Farmworkers Health Center. Its founder, Susan Fister, PhD RN, of the College of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University described her passion and the “post it note” encouraging her to apply for federal funding to start the clinic. She responded by “saying yes and keeping a promise” ultimately admitting that she was blessed with a burden that grew into Bluegrass Community Health Center. Initially situated on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus, the clinic relocated to Oxford Circle in Lexington, KY within the same year to better serve Central Kentucky farmworkers.

     In 2006, after BCHC had moved to its current location at 1306 Versailles Rd, the clinic expanded its scope to provide care for the homeless and underserved community by securing Bureau of Primary Health Care funding, thus becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The governing Board of BCHC, Bluegrass Primary Healthcare Center, Inc. (BPHCC) includes a predominance of patient members, which is a stipulation for all FQHCs. BCHC’s service area includes the counties of Fayette, Clark, Woodford, Scott, Jessamine, Madison, Bourbon, and Garrard. In 2008, BCHC added a second location in Fayette County to enhance accessibility for patients in the southern Fayette and eastern regions of its service area.

     Over the subsequent years, BCHC continued to grow. It expanded services to include care for newly arrived refugees in the Lexington area and enhanced support for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. In 2013, BCHC achieved accreditation as a Patient Centered Medical Home, becoming the first Kentucky-based health center to be so named. Additionally, BCHC was the first health center in Kentucky to be recognized for Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration. Dr. Fister retired as CEO in 2015 but BCHC’s growth persisted in the years following her departure.

     In 2019, Eastern Kentucky University transferred oversight of BCHC to BPHCC and on April 1, 2020, BCHC became an independent FQHC. Since then, BCHC has expanded further, adding additional clinic sites and mobile units, including the New Life Day Center Clinic, the Clark County Clinic, Centro de San Juan Diego Clinic, and George Rogers Clark High School Clinic. In April 2023 BCHC opened its first pharmacy at the recently acquired and renovated 131 North Eagle Creek location, providing discounted medications on a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured individuals. BCHC’s unwavering dedication and steadfast commitment to community health continues to illuminate a path toward better health and better life throughout the region.

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