The image of the Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) grew from the September 1995 conference, “Building a Coalition: Giving Consumers a Voice in Shaping Health Services.” As a body, the participants recognized that other health care stakeholders (i.e. hospitals, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, etc.) were well organized, but there was no organization that voiced the needs of patients. The participants also agreed that special emphasis should be placed on consumers at greatest risk for experiencing barriers to the health system (i.e. people with low incomes, the uninsured, people from minority racial and ethnic backgrounds, and people with disabilities).
The Coalition was formally launched in 1996 with generous funding from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Community Catalyst, a national, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to health care for all, also provided early technical assistance.
Today CHC has established itself as a leading consumer health advocacy organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Our staff, Board of Directors, network of volunteers, and community partners work hard to advance our mission “to inspire a consumer movement to advance health and enhance access to quality, affordable health care.”