Greater Seacoast Community Health is a network of community health centers providing primary care, pediatrics, dental care, prenatal care, behavioral health counseling, substance use disorder treatment, mobile health services, WIC, social work services, a pharmacy, parenting classes, playgroups and home visiting. The network includes Families First Health & Support Center in Portsmouth, Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth, and Lilac City Pediatrics in Rochester. Strafford County Public Health Network and SOS Recovery Community Organization also are affiliated with Greater Seacoast. Services are open to everyone and aim to be respectful, recovery-friendly, LGBTQ-affirming and trauma-informed.

Greater Seacoast Community Health, serves about 20,000 of our friends and neighbors in need of affordable health care. Our organization now has over 300 employees dedicated to our mission: Delivering innovative, compassionate, integrated health services and support that are accessible to all in our community, regardless of ability to pay.

Visit GetCommunityHealth.org to learn more about all of our merged organizations.

Why We Merged: Three Reasons

In response to the ever-changing ways which health care is delivered to patients, in January 2018 Goodwin Community Health, Families First Health and Support Center of Portsmouth and Seabrook, and Lilac City Pediatrics of Rochester took the significant leap of becoming a single organization to improve patient access, quality and financial sustainability.

1. A Good Fit: Shared Missions

This merger leverages the fact that Families First and Goodwin have:

  •  a 30-year history of collaborating and sharing best practices and resources
  • nearly identical charitable missions, organizational structures and core services (integrated primary, prenatal, dental and behavioral health care)
  • strong management and administrative operations
  • cultures that are patient-centered and fiscally prudent
  • adjacent service areas
  •  complementary skill sets and strengths, which will be shared to benefit clients

2. Expanding Opportunities

This merger will create operational efficiencies, financial advantages, economies of scale and clinical integration, including:

  • expansion of programs and services, such as mobile health care, substance abuse treatment and parenting programs
  • sharing of best practices to improve access, quality, and efficiency of services and operations
  • ability to negotiate better benefits packages due to larger staff size, enhancing staff recruitment and retention
  • financial advantages, such as more access to capital to support infrastructure and growth opportunities, and lower operating costs due to economies of scale
  • further diversification of funding sources to enhance financial stability

3. Bigger is Stronger

This merger represents a proactive approach to meet the demands of a rapidly changing health care system. Being larger gives the organization:

  • strength in contract negotiations with larger health care organizations
  •  better positioning to benefit from new insurance systems that base reimbursement on patient outcomes and reduction of unnecessary costs, such as non-urgent ER visits
  •  a regionalized, integrated health care delivery system
  • more opportunity to receive grant funding, resulting in enhanced programs and services

For more information

Merger announcement document (PDF, 8 pages)

Merger agreement (PDF, 16 pages)

Goodwin and Families First Complete Merger
Press Release | January 2018

Lessons from the field: Nonprofit mergers
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation | November 2017

Q&A with Goodwin Community Health CEO Janet Laatsch
New Hampshire Business Review | September 15, 2017

Families First, Goodwin awarded for quality
Seacoast Sunday | September 10, 2017

Partnership for a healthy future
Seacoast Sunday | June 4, 2017

Merger of community health centers benefits all (editorial)
Portsmouth Herald | June 3, 2017

“Thumbs up” for increasing care (editorial)
Foster’s Daily Democrat | May 26, 2017

Goodwin, Families First to merge
Press release | May 2017