Acronyms and Definitions

Understanding Our Acronyms

CHC is an FQHC that uses the PCMH model so that your PCP (who might be an APRN) can best take care of your health.

Wait, what?

Don’t worry. We know we use a lot of acronyms. It helps us get to the point faster. But you need to understand what we’re saying! So here’s a guide to some of our most commonly used acronyms. If you’re ever in an appointment or on the phone with someone from CHC, and you don’t know what they just said, just ask!

  • CHC: Community Health Center. That’s us! We are one of thousands of community health centers across the country. Community health centers provide care to 28 million people (1 in 12) in the U.S., focusing on populations with difficulty accessing or affording health care. Learn more here.
  • FQHC: Federally-Qualified Health Center. This means we’re a community-based health care organization, and we get funding from the government through the Health Resources and Service Administration’s Health Center Program to provide you with care. Learn more here.
  • HRSA: Health Resources and Service Administration. HRSA is the government agency that funds many of our operations. They are a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and they oversee how our country improves health care for vulnerable populations.
  • PCMH: Patient-Centered Medical Home. This means that we put our patients at the center of our care. Learn more here.
  • SBHS: School-Based Health Services. We provide medical, dental, and behavioral health care at schools across Connecticut. These are our School-Based Health Services! Learn more here.

Your Health Care Team

  • PSA: Patient Services Associate. These are the staff who sit at the front desks at our clinics and answer any questions you have about your appointment or care.
  • ATC: Access to Care. This team enrolls new patients, helps you apply for and understand health insurance, and connects you with resources in your community that can help you live a better life (like housing, transportation, etc.).
  • Medical Team
    • PCP: Primary care provider. This is your main medical professional, who manages your care, prescribes treatment, and more. Here are the types of PCPs that practice at CHC:
      • APRN: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
      • DO: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
      • FNP: Family Nurse Practitioner
      • MD: Doctor of Medicine
      • NP: Nurse Practitioner
      • PA: Physician Assistant
      • WHNP: Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
    • MA: Medical Assistant. The MA will often take your medical history, record your vital signs, and complete the administrative and clinical tasks for our sites.
    • RN: Registered Nurse. The RN provides and manages your medical care, prescribes medication, and much more.
  • Dental Team
    • Dentist. The Dentist is the main provider for your oral health. They diagnose and treat problems with your teeth, gums, and more. They are the ones who fill your cavities, repair your teeth, and give you advice about how to take care of your mouth.
      • DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery
      • DMD: Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine
    • Dental Hygienist. The Dental Hygienist cleans your teeth, examines you for signs of decay or disease, and helps you with your preventative oral health care.
    • DA: Dental Assistant. The dental assistant helps your dentist with a variety of tasks, including taking x-rays, keeping your medical records, preparing the equipment for the dentist, and more.
  • Behavioral Health Team. Your behavioral health team helps you with your mental and emotional well-being. Many of them have
    • LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    • LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
    • LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor
    • MSW: Master in Social Work
    • PsyD: Doctor of Psychology
  • Other Credentials
    • PharmD: Doctor of Pharmacy
    • RD: Registered Dietician
    • CNM: Certified Nurse Midwife