In order to receive (and maintain) grant money as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), community health centers (CHC) must meet 19 Program Requirements. PR #1 requires health centers to document an assessment of the needs of the target population. For health organizations considering becoming an FQHC or FQHC Look-alike, one of the first steps is completing a needs assessment. Unlike the community health assessments frequently done by local hospitals and public health jurisdictions, a health center needs assessment must address a specific set of questions. These same questions are addressed in the Service Area Competition (SAC) and New Access Point (NAP) grants.
The Service Area Competition (SAC) program is a funding opportunity that provides three-year grants to operate one or more Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHCs must submit applications for a SAC grant when the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issues a SAC NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity).