Dorchester Atheneum
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
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Columbia Point Health Center 1964
 Columbia Point Health Center 1964

Having met during the Freedom Summer of 1964, Drs. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson opened the nation?s first community health center the following year. Supported by the federal government?s Office of Economic Opportunity, the two collaborated with local leaders to convert four apartments in Dorchester?s Columbia Point housing project into the Columbia Point Health Center, demonstrating collaboration between Federal Funding and Entreprenurial leadership.

This center provided care for the insured and uninsured alike, focusing attention on pregnant women and children. These clients were predominantly black and other minorities that had been disenfranchised by the larger medical community. Their community-based programs provided a comprehensive approach, treating pediatrics, women?s health, dentistry, elderly care, and mental health in a community setting that sought to treat each patient as a valued neighbor. The demand for the center came fro the community, showing a Spirit of Changing Things that pervaded the neighborhood, as demonstrated by the multiple tiers of participation from within the community.

Renamed in 1990, the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center became the model for 25 other community health centers in Boston. Geiger-Gibson led Senator Kennedy to successfully enact national legislation to spread the model. Nationwide, hundreds of others have followed the Geiger-Gibson prototype.


Readers' Comments
 From: Linda Borden, August, 2009

I cut the ribbon to open the columbia point health center in 1965 I was Linda Turner then I wonderd if there were photos anywhere of that event I was also one of the first patients there as I came down with strep right after the event Thank You Linda Borden

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Created: November 23, 2006   Modified: September 6, 2009