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Mission & History


Our mission is to strengthen and ensure high-quality health care for people who are vulnerable.


In early 2000, several free clinics in Northeast Ohio determined the need for a collective body representing agencies that provide free health care throughout the state.

Funding from Volunteers in Health Care supported our First Annual Free Clinic Conference in October 2000, with approximately 20 clinics represented. The participants authorized a steering committee to pursue incorporation of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics (OAFC).

The Association was incorporated in November 2000 and received approval for 501(c)(3) status in May 2002. The first Executive Director was hired in August 2002.

Funding from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, under the Ohio Public Health Priorities Fund, was granted to OAFC and supported the work of the clinics from 2000-2008. In 2017 our membership voted to expand our membership beyond free clinics to include the heterogeneous community of charitable health care organizations. In 2018 our name was officially changed to the Charitable Healthcare Network (CHN). The CHN is supported by General Revenue Funds from the Ohio Department of Health as well as foundations and generous individual donors.

The CHN has more than doubled in size since our early days and supports 55 member clinics statewide.