Spectrum Health Services, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit Community Health Center established in 1967, serving the medical needs of the residents the Philadelphia area.  Conveniently located in North, South and West Philadelphia, our committed team of healthcare professionals are dedicated to maintaining your health and well being.  We offer fully accredited Medical, Dental, and specialty care as well as Health Education. 


We are comprised of three Federally Qualified Health Centers recognized by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and listed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level-3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), the highest designation for health centers.

Our History


  • Organized in June 1967 providing family planning services under the banner Better Family Planning, Inc. with the major objective "to strengthen family life of the disadvantaged segment of the population by improving the parents' economic ability to influence the development and growth of their children and thus break out of the property-dependence status." 
  • Greater St. Matthews Medical Health Center, 5558 Race Street opened to service patients in the Northwest.


  • Christian Street Medical Health Center, 2053 Christian Street opened to service patients in the South.
  • Clara Baldwin Medical Health Center, 2136 North 27th Street opened to service patients in the North.
  • Haven House Medical Health Center, 5900 Pine Street opened to service patients in the Southeast.


  • Broad Street Medical Health Center, 1616 North Broad Street opened to service patients in North.


  • Jones Memorial Medical Health Center, 1937 West Dauphin Street open to service patients in the North.
  • The six neighborhood clinics have been established and services given to approximately 15,000 women.



  • The agency's name was subsequently changed from Better Family Planning to Spectrum Health Services to reflect its new mission. 
  • The Haddington Health Center (HHC) commenced delivery of primary care health services.


  • From 1984 to 1988, the number of patients served at the Haddington Health Center grew dramatically. In addition to family planning, new services offered included prenatal, pediatric and adult health care. Key support services included social services and nutrition supplements via the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
  • In 1988 perinatal case management and home visiting services were implemented. With the exception of the WIC program, the Haddington Health Center (HHC) currently offers these services including HIV-related services and a dental service program for low income, uninsured adolescents and pregnant women. Continuity of care is provided for through relationships with Children's Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Mercy Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital.


  • In April 1991, Spectrum Health Services (SHS) was instrumental in the establishment of the first in-house school based health program in a Philadelphia middle school. The school-based program was called the Sulzberger Personal Examination Center (SPEC), which included such primary health care services as physical examinations, immunizations and treatment of acute conditions to registered students who attend the Mayer Sulzberger Middle School in West Philadelphia. SPEC differs from the majority of local school-based health programs in its emphasis on meeting the psychosocial needs of students.
  • The funding for this program ended April 2000.


  • SHS continued to provide family planning services through October 1994. In November 1994, Broad Street Health Center (BSHC) commenced service delivery as a comprehensive primary care facility offering services similar to those services offered at the Haddington Health Center. The expanded and relocated BSHC continues to offer a full range of primary care services with continuity of care provided for through relationships with Temple University Children's Medical Center, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and Pennsylvania Hospital.


  • Over the 35 year period, the initial Haddington Site of 1,000 square feet grew to consist of 9,229 square feet in three non-contiguous areas in a small shopping center.  There were 13 exam rooms, one lab space and four counseling rooms.  The Center was bursting at the seams and had to work diligently to serve it’s more than 10,670 patients in less than adequate space.  The Spectrum Board of Directors organized a Capital Campaign Committee to develop a plan to secure funding to support the building of a 12,000 square foot facility one block from the Haddington site.  
  • The untimely death of Carolyn Baxter, the CEO of 30 years halted the entire project.  


  • The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) creates the Carolyn G. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award was made at the direction of the Board of Directors of the PACHC, and remembers Carolyn G. Baxter, CEO of Spectrum Health Services in Philadelphia. Always a strong advocate for improving health care, Mrs. Baxter spent her entire professional life giving back to the communities in which she lived and worked. Mrs. Baxter also served as an active member of PACHC. The organization will present the Carolyn G. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award to individuals who have given long-term commitment to the community health center movement. This award is intended to recognize the special accomplishments of an individual who, through their dedication to primary health care, have assisted vulnerable individuals to access health care in the community health center arena. Candidates may be staff, volunteers, board members or any individual who, through years of service, has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of community health centers.


  • In January 2004, Phyllis B. Cater took the helm as the Chief Executive Officer with the goal of growing the organization and building the new facility.  After searching all of the available properties within a ¼ mile radius of the medical office building, a space became available four blocks from the current site.


  • Planning for the development of a 36,000 sq. ft. “green” state-of-the-art facility was completed and after overcoming challenges to obtain the needed funding, construction of the new health center began in the spring of 2011. 


  • On July 12, 2012 Spectrum Health Services (SHS) celebrated the groundbreaking of a $14 million health facility in West Philadelphia. The 36,000 square foot facility located at 52nd and Haverford Avenue, Spectrum Community Health Center (SCHC), was completed in July 2013.
  • Spectrum Health Services (SHS) celebrates 45 years of service.


  • On September 27, 2013 Spectrum Health Services, Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for its new community health center in West Philadelphia, Spectrum Community Health Center (SCHC). The new three story building is located on a busy corner that is a crossroads of several bus routes and near the train line which provides greater access to the site.  The number of exam rooms have increased from 13 to 32 and will provide enough room to serve more than 27,000 patients.  The new facility allows for the establishment of dental services and expanded behavioral health and case management services. The new Spectrum Community Health Center (SCHC) has enhanced Spectrum’s ability to manage chronic disease in a multidisciplinary team approach. 


  • Broad Street Health Center (BSHC) celebrates 20 years of services.
  • In 2014, dental services began seeing patients with the establishment of 8 operatories and state-of-the-art dental equipment.
  • Spectrum Community Health Center (SCHC) earned LEED Silver Certification


  • Open the Reed Street Health Center (RSHC) to expand our services in the South Philadelphia area.


  • Spectrum Health Services has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the leading standard-setting organization for  Healthcare Effectiveness and Health plan accreditation,  as a Level-3 Patient-Centered Medical Home, the highest designation for health centers. This recognition denotes Spectrum Health Services meeting the required 6 Standards:
  1. Enhancing Access and Continuity
  2. Identifying and Managing Patient Populations
  3. Planning and Managing Care
  4. Providing Self-Care Support and Community Resources
  5. Tracking and Coordinating Care
  6. Measuring and Improving Performance.