Jim Hunt and the Mass. League of Community Health Centers

Jim Hunt says community health centers got their start in Massachusetts because of the old axiom that all politics is local.

Hunt, the president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, said two Tufts University medical school physicians, Jack Geiger and Count Gibson Jr., had studied how South Africa launched community clinics and came to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in the early 1960s with the idea of replicating the concept here. At a time when Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty was taking shape, Geiger and Gibson believed that people without means deserved access to medical care if the cycle of poverty was ever going to be broken. Kennedy, according to Hunt, liked the idea and had a strategy for making it happen.

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