Process Improvement

Community Health Center Davies Award Applications

Two healthcare professionals talking.

In 2022, more than 30 million medically underserved Americans were offered cost-effective, high-quality primary and preventive care, chronic disease management, dental, and behavioral health services by about 1,300 community health centers.  

In the effort to combat the devastating impact of health-related social needs, Community health centers play a vital role in improving child wellness, managing hypertension and diabetes, and HIV prevention, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. It is a requisite that community health centers meet the same requirements as eligible physicians for the Promoting Interoperability Program and the Merit Based Incentive Payment System for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Community health centers often meet these requirements and continue to innovate care delivery with very limited resources.

The environment of community health centers can be challenging for providing transforming digital care, but they are also breeding grounds for the thoughtful application of information and technology tools.  There, they can address the unique clinical and operational challenges of the health center world, and the COVID-19 pandemic had heightened these challenges. Community health centers have led the charge to use innovative thinking to address the complex challenges associated with caring for their patient population.

The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence Program recognizes these efforts, and the community health center category showcases the evidence-based model practices used by health centers to improve care outcomes in a sustainable manner. They address gaps in care, promote better health equity, and enhance wellness for their patient population.

Davies case studies require detailed descriptions of governance models, clinical care workflows and supporting technology tools. They showcase the use of virtual and remote technologies to improve patient wellness outside of the patient encounter and the use of data to monitor performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

Previous Davies community health recipients have made major contributions to improving care in their communities. They include:

  • Unity Health Care, a two-time Davies Community Health recipient from Washington D.C.: At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they scaled telemedicine interventions set up initially to handle traditional primary care visits to screen COVID patients. By the end of the summer of 2020, Unity, which did not have a telehealth infrastructure of substance before the pandemic, was seeing nearly 1,000 patients daily through virtual care encounters. Many of those encounters serviced patients with significant health related social needs and chronic disease, but Unity clinicians were able to maintain quality metrics for hypertension and diabetes control for those complex patients.


  • Petaluma Community Health Center, Petaluma, California: Used data visualization tools to monitor performance and identify gaps in care. The health center required clinicians to execute annual quality improvement projects as part of their responsibility. One project focused on hypertension resulted in the creation of a comprehensive care plan, enabled through a variety of decision support-driven care interventions. As result, Petaluma improved hypertension control in their high blood pressure patient population by 9% in the first year.


  • Open Door Family Medical Center, a two-time Davies recipient in Tarrytown, New York: Open Door set goals to leverage school-based clinics to improve classification, treatment, clinician education and the increased use of asthma action plans for their pediatric population. With access to care as a principal focus, the medical center leveraged their electronic health record (EHR) functionality in the school setting to increase the percentage of patients with asthma action plans, which led to less missed school days for the students.


  • HealthNet, a Davies recipient in Indianapolis, Indiana: Healthnet has a focus on newborn and pediatric patients, which make up a significant portion of their overall patient population. With a grant funded EHR prior to Meaningful Use, HealthNet created a comprehensive template for prenatal care programs for new mothers. Meaningful Use sets the specific objectives that eligible professionals and hospitals must achieve to participate in the EHR incentive programs. The HealthNet program, which focused on information technology-driven orders for appointments, care, and nutrition paired with virtual interventions and electronic reminders, significantly lowered the number of babies born with low birth weight.

Said Jonathan French, senior director of Informatics at HIMSS and since 2011, head of the Davies Award program:

“Community health centers often have amazing stories to tell about leveraging technology and data to provide comprehensive and compassionate care. Given the reporting requirements associated with both public payers and HRSA grant programs, community health centers have well-established structures to capture and review data to identify gaps in care and opportunities to improve care delivery. More importantly, the community health centers I have visited as part of the Davies program are filled with passionate medical professionals who strive to get every ounce of benefit out of technology to improve their patient care, he said.

“While community health centers may not always have the resources to obtain the most sophisticated technology tools, no segment of the North American healthcare market is more adept at incorporating the technologies they have into a culture of learning and innovation than community health centers. Sharing their stories is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” said French who is also a fellow healthcare information management system society (FHIMSS) and certified professional in healthcare information and management systems.

HIMSS will be accepting 2023 Davies Award submissions from community health center candidates through February 15, 2023. Applicants must submit two case studies describing how the health centers are using data and technology to improve care outcomes, wellness, and health equity. HIMSS provides a template to guide the case study development.

There is no cost to apply. Help HIMSS celebrate your great work and share your innovative use of technology with the globe!

To learn more about the Davies Community Health Award application process, requirements, and receive the case study template, please email Jonathan French at