Our History

  • In 1993 representatives from CHCs across the country come together for the first time in Winnipeg to discuss the creation of a pan-Canadian organization of community health centres.

  • In 1995 in Toronto the Canadian Alliance of Community Health Centre Associations (CACHCA) is born; made up of provincial groupings/associations of CHCs from across Canada.


  • In 1995 CACHCA was well represented at the first international conference on CHCs, held in early December in Monteal. Members of the Board gave a number of presentations including an overview of CHCs in Canada and of the role of health promotion in primary health services.

  • Over the next 3 years, CACHCA defines the characteristics for recognition as a community health centre within CACHCA, clarifies its rules and regulations including the different types of membership, develops a set of core values which will provide the necessary parameters for taking public positions on the health care debates going on across Canada, as well as establishing stronger linkages across the country.

  • In 1998, the third national CHC conference “The Spirit of Health Care is in our hands” is held in Victoria British Columbia. The CACHCA assembly approves a declaration to “preserve and enhance the publicly funded health-care system in Canada” and expresses the belief that core health services in Canada, including primary health care, should be included in the basket of services to be overseen by the five principles described in the Canada Health Act.

  • In 2001, CACHCA submits a report with Recommendations to the federal Romanow Commission examining “The Future of Canada’s Public Health Care System”.

  • In 2002 CACHCA holds its fourth national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The conference speakers included many of the Saskatchewan political and advocacy leadership who are still alive, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the public medical services in the province and then across Canada.

  • In 2003 CACHCA partners with the Canadian Arthritis Society, on: “The National Implementation of an Integrated Client Centred Approach to the management of arthritis” initiative. CHCs became host sites for the roll out of the Getting a grip Project, which educated primary care providers on best practice on preventing and managing this chronic disease. The lead researcher stated in a presentation of the results of the research that CHCS are the best primary care model for the delivery of services to persons with a chronic disease.

  • In 2005 CACHCA in partnership with one of its provincial associations, the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) develops a training manual “Disseminating Best Practice in Interdisciplinary Teamwork from Community Health Centres”.

  • In 2006 CACHC hosts a series of “think tanks” on the economic evaluation of primary health care.

  • In 2006 CACHCA sponsored the next pan-canadian conference for CHCs. in Saint John, New Brunswick.The theme is “Community Health Centres …the Model for Action”.

  • In 2007, CACHCA co-hosts with its Ontario provincial association, the AOHC, a national Conference in Toronto that launches the “Second Stage of Medicare” campaign; pushing for investments in public programs that keep Canadians healthy.

  • In 2008 CACHCA’s last pan-Canadian conference is held in Winnipeg Manitoba. The theme is “Putting Community in Community Health”.

  • In 2009 CACHCA authors a policy position paper on the Federal government’s role, entitled “Community Health Centres, An Integrated Approach to strengthening Communities and Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Vulnerable Canadians and their Families”.

  • In 2010 CACHCA begins plans, in partnership with the Association of CHCs in the United States (NACHC) and the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) for holding an international conference on CHCs in Toronto Ontario in June 2011.

    The Future

    Looking to the future, CACHCA remains committed to supporting a strong and comprehensive primary health care system in Canada, and to working with partners to protect and enhance our public health-care system and ensure a role for CHCs in federal health care plans.