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First Choice: A People's History

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Published on Jun 20, 2012

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, there were at least three community groups in the South Valley and South Broadway historic neighborhoods that were pushing for healthcare services.

The first was the Black Berets, who started an all-volunteer clinic in 1968, followed by the South Valley Economic Opportunity Board and the South Valley Area Council, which were both part of President Johnson's War on Poverty. Community leaders came together with doctors and advocates at UNM Hospitals to start Albuquerque Family Health Centers in 1972. Family Health Centers were known as Centro Familiar de Salud until the 1980s when the name changed to First Choice Community Healthcare.

This is the story of how people have worked together over the past four decades to make First Choice what it is today -- a primary care health system serving more than 60,000 individuals with primary medical, dental, behavioral health and WIC services.

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