Our History

History of Charles Drew Health Center

Our Lifelong Mission to Care

Driven by our mission to provide quality, comprehensive healthcare in a manner that acknowledges the dignity of the individual, the strength of the family and the supportive network of the community, the Charles Drew Health Center is committed to being the primary care provider of choice. We continue to enhance our efforts to provide targeted healthcare services that eliminate health disparities, improve health outcomes, and promote health literacy among the individuals and families that proudly call Charles Drew Health Center their medical home.

1960s & 70s

The availability of medical services in North Omaha began to decline. Read more about the history of healthcare in North Omaha.


A group of community activists came together to address healthcare access for families in in the north and northeast areas of Omaha.

Grainy image from the 1980s of the Omaha skyline.

Omaha Skyline © Melinda Simonsen


We received a federal grant to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and chose the name Charles Drew Health Center, after Dr. Charles Drew, a pioneer in the field of blood research. Our first permanent location was a converted laundromat at 2201 North 30th Street. Former Senator J. Robert Kerrey and Congressman Peter Hoagland were instrumental in securing federal funding to renovate the building and convert it into a viable health center.

A group of young children gather round as the ribbon is cut.

Ribbon Cutting

Black and white headshot of Dr. Charles Drew

Dr. Charles Drew


That same year, Robert Patterson was named the Executive Director of CDHC. 

Black and white headshot of Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson


We began offering Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services.

WIC logo

WIC Logo


We added homeless healthcare services.

Homeless Healthcare


We broke ground on our location at 2915 Grant Street, completing construction in 1993.

A group of diverse individuals watch as two men holding shovels begin digging into the ground at a groundbreaking event.

Groundbreaking at 2915 Grant Street


We established our pharmacy department.


We added dental care to our growing list of services.


We received accreditation from the Joint Commission

The Joint Commission logo


Richard L. Brown, PhD, FACHE was named our Chief Executive Officer.

An African American man stands in a white shirt and tie in front of Charles Drew Health Center.

Richard L. Brown, PhD, FACHE Courtesy of Centris Federal Credit Union.


We introduced Behavioral Health Services, and added our Fathers for a Lifetime program. 

Fathers for a Lifetime logo


We added Language Access and translation services.


Expanding our Grant Street location, we added 13,500 square feet, doubling the number of exam rooms, creating space for Omaha Healthy Start, and expanding the pharmacy and laboratory areas.

Construction during the expansion of the Grant Street location.

Expanding our Grant Street Location

Omaha Healthy Start logo


By the end of 2012, we added four School-Based Health Centers to serve students in Omaha. 

SBHC logo


We opened four locations serving tenants living in Omaha Housing Authority facilities.

Evans Tower housing development.

Evans Tower


Kenny D. McMorris, MPA, FACHE, CHCEF, was named our Chief Executive Officer.

Headshot of Kenny D. McMorris.

Kenny D. McMorris, MPA, FACHE, CHCEF


We debuted the Tooth-Mobile, and added pediatric dental services.

Tooth Mobile ribbon cutting.



We opened our 30 Metro clinic location, and planted our first community garden.

30 Metro Ribbon Cutting

30 Metro Ribbon Cutting


We opened a new location in downtown Benson, which focuses on providing care to teens and young adults. 

Benson Clinic Ribbon Cutting

Benson Clinic Ribbon Cutting


We opened two new locations at RADIUS Omaha and the Highlander Accelerator building.