Community Healthcare Network

Press Release

Community Healthcare Network (CHN) Receives National Accreditation for Primary Care & Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) Fellowship Program


July 22, 2021

Contact: Erin Verrier [email protected]; 917-636-0884

Community Healthcare Network (CHN), a New York City network of 14 federally qualified community health centers that serve over 80,000 patients annually, won full accreditation of its pioneering Primary Care & Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) Fellowship.

“Nurse practitioners increasingly are the backbone of our City’s health care delivery system,” said Robert M. Hayes, President and CEO of CHN. “Our one-year fellowship allows newly graduated nurse practitioners to cement their skills with hands on support while they launch their medical careers. Our fellows, and our patients, are both winners.”

The accreditation by the National Nurse Practitioner Resident & Fellowship Training Consortium (NNPRFTC) followed peer review of CHN’s program, finding that the fellowship met the highest national standards for quality and rigor. The program, which began in 2015, was the first NP fellowship program in New York State. Since then, 75 fellows have received primary care and psychiatry clinical practice at CHN health centers.

Today, the CHN NP Fellowship Program partners with the Columbia University School of Nursing to offer newly licensed postgraduate NPs one year of experiential training, preceptorship, and one-to-one mentorship. Stephen Ferrara, Columbia’s Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs said,” “The intended purpose of the program is to prepare nurse practitioners for community health care.” For CHN, this means NP fellows solidify their clinical knowledge in addition to leadership skills, cultural sensitivity, and competency in care for patients regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or ability to pay.

“Any fellow who has come through this program will tell you its biggest asset is having a preceptor or a mentor, someone to go to with a clinical question,” says Evelyn Addo-Wallace, Director of Advanced Practice Nursing. CHN wants fellows to “know clinical medicine from top to bottom…but we are not only building clinicians, we are building professional leaders.” Alumni of the program have gone on to be medical directors, preceptors, and other higher office positions, both in and outside of CHN.

Going against the shortage of providers in the primary care workforce nationally, Addo-Wallace sees NP fellows continue to work in a primary care setting, particularly community health centers, because of their experience in this program. She adds that “not only do we want to fill the gap [in providers], but we want to adequately prepare nurse practitioners who feel confident to stay in our setting.”
Accordingly, CHN has retained close to 50% of CHN NP fellows post-graduation. Others have gone on to community health centers in their respective cities and states.

Overall, accreditation from the NNPRTFC, “puts a stamp of approval as to the rigor of the program,” says Addo-Wallace. As a prestigious accrediting body, the NNPRFTC “provides very structured standards on what residency or fellowship should look like…and we have met all those standards, meaning we are appropriately delivering a rigorous, structured fellowship program, something that we are truly proud of.”

About Community Healthcare Network
Community Healthcare Network is a not-for-profit organization providing access to affordable primary care, dental, nutrition, behavioral health and social services for diverse populations throughout New York City. CHN serves more than 85,000 individuals a year who would otherwise have little or no access to critical healthcare. CHN is composed of 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), including two School Based Health Centers (SBHC), and a fleet of mobile health units. To learn more about CHN visit our website at or follow us on  FacebookTwitter,  YouTube, and Instagram.