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Safety Net Clinics

Removing Barriers to Health Care Services

Oregon’s health system transformation and implementation of the Affordable Care Act are moving our state in the right direction. Despite the advances and the increased number of people who are now covered, there are still many uninsured and underinsured individuals.
The “health care safety net” is a term that has come to define the array of clinical sites around the state to provide health care opportunities for those who otherwise would have barriers to accessing quality health services. These barriers include lack of coverage, geographic isolation, language and culture, mental illness and homelessness.

More than 300 sites in Oregon that have been approved as part of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provide health care to all, regardless of ability to pay.

Primary care services provided by the safety net include services such as:

  • Urgent care
  • Acute and chronic disease treatment
  • Services based on local community need (mental health, dental, and vision)
  • Preventive care
  • Well childcare
  • Enabling services (translation/interpretation, case management, transportation and outreach)
  • Helping to leverage federal resources to support clinics having the workforce they need.

Below is further information on various safety net clinics in Oregon.

The Primary Care Office supports health care safety net providers in Oregon in a variety of ways, including:

  • Helping improve access to needed health services in local communities
  • Designating underserved areas of the state and areas with a shortage of health professionals
  • Processing foreign physicians' waiver applications to practice in underserved areas of the state as primary care physicians, specialists or psychiatrists
  • Linking Oregon communities with National Health Service Corps practitioners