CHS - About1
Through the Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment project, a local theater group uses drama to demonstrate and encourage malaria-reducing behaviors in a Ghanaian village. Photo by Dr. Steve Harvey.

The Center for Human Services (CHS) is a community-centered, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of and access to health, educational and social services for those most in need in the US and around the world. We envision a world where equitable access to these services enables all individuals and communities to determine their own destinies.

We work with communities to meet today’s challenges and take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities by treating people with dignity and compassion; respecting diversity of cultures and ideas; and providing quality, innovative services.

Founded in 1968, we offer a range of technical assistance to strengthen health and social systems and service quality by empowering communities and health workers to identify and apply locally appropriate solutions to critical problems.

In the United States, CHS provides services focused on education, health education, health communication and vocational training. Internationally, we focus on maternal, newborn, and child health; infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria; reproductive health and family planning; food and nutrition; and vulnerable children and families.

CHS is a 501(c)(3) organization that, together with its affiliate, University Research Co., LLC (URC), manages projects in over 45 countries, including the United States.

CHS traces its beginnings to 1968, during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “war on poverty.” Our founders, young university professors, brought together talented people from the academic and scientific communities to address the predominant challenges the US faced in the 1960s and 1970s. Together, their goal was to “lift the poor and minorities out of poverty and crime.”

Joining forces with the US Government, CHS supported many US-based programs fostered by the Economic Opportunity Act (1964), which provided job training, adult education and small business loans to address the roots of unemployment and poverty; the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965), which fostered equal access to education and established standards and accountability in education; and the Model Cities Act (1966), which sought to improve urban programs through a focus on rehabilitation, social services and community participation.

CHS’s programs included Head Start, a federal initiative to improve school readiness among children under 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development; Job Corps, a free education and training program for young people; community action programs; migrant worker programs; local health care center programs; and adult basic education programs.

Within 10 years, CHS positioned itself as an organization that makes a difference in people’s lives and became a major contributor to efforts to combat juvenile delinquency, school violence, dead-end jobs in the health care industry, hopeless futures for unskilled minorities, workplace discrimination against women and minorities and drug abuse among youth.

The late 1970s and the 1980s witnessed rapid growth: CHS excelled in job competency training and job analysis for early childhood educators, hospital personnel, drug abuse workers, criminal justice staff and the military. We specialized in training, technical assistance and instructional design, successfully operating projects in substance abuse treatment, criminal justice, child support enforcement, community rehabilitation training, reducing school violence and family planning.

In 1981, CHS began its longest running program, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP), which has helped over 7,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers acquire a General Education Development certificate (equivalent to a high school diploma) and successfully transition to the next level of education, vocational training, or employment or to the military. In 2013, the program ranked third among all 61 HEP programs nationwide.

At the same time, CHS expanded its services to address systems of care for underserved populations worldwide, with a belief in the individual’s ability to support him-/herself in any setting. In 1981, through the Primary Health Care Operations Research (PRICOR) Project, CHS and its affiliate, University Research Co., LLC (URC), began working internationally in public health and soon became the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) lead organization for primary health care operations research.

For nearly 20 years, CHS and URC provided global leadership for health care quality assurance in USAID-supported programs through the Quality Assurance Project (QAP) I, II, and III. QAP provided technical assistance and conducted operations research on health care quality improvement. This work helped to raise awareness that quality improvement (QI) is an essential component of health system strengthening and that quality standards and QI capacity development are vital to the development of health care systems in even the most resource-constrained settings.

Today, CHS and URC have a presence throughout the United States and around the world, with projects in over 45 countries. In the US, we focus on education, health education, health communication and vocational training. Internationally, we focus on maternal, newborn and child health; infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria; reproductive health and family planning; food and nutrition; and vulnerable children and families. Learn more about our US and international work.

CHS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.


Jay S. Wechsler

Founded in 1968, Center for Human Services (CHS) has provided decades of service to communities in the US, and dedicated itself to improving health, educational and social services around the world. Our vision and values accentuate our commitment to providing quality services in the most respectful, compassionate, innovative and collaborative ways possible.

CHS and its affiliate, University Research Co., LLC (URC), have been at the forefront of public and private sector efforts to introduce change and innovative approaches. Our distinctive approach, establishing a solid evidence base from which to develop changes yielding impactful, scalable results, has been the key to our many decades of success.

We have provided over 30 years of continuous service to America’s seasonal and migrant farm workers and immigrants. We are proud to be one of the leaders in offering instruction for the General Education Development test, instruction in English as a second language, and other services to these populations and their families.

Our international programs are distinguished by our worldwide leadership in the application of the science of quality improvement to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of health care delivery processes and systems. In Ecuador, for example, our essential obstetric and newborn care model has improved equitable coverage and quality of maternal and newborn health care services using a comprehensive province-level network that promotes coordinated service delivery.

CHS’s tagline, “Empowering communities. Improving systems.” emphasizes our focus on engaging the communities we serve to initiate positive and lasting changes while taking a big-picture approach to strengthening health, education and social systems. Drawing on the solid lessons of CHS’s history and heritage, we are confident in our ability to succeed in the face of new challenges.

We welcome you to explore this website to learn more about our US and International services, programs, partners, funders and clients, and to learn how you can work with and support us.

Jay S. Wechsler


CHS no longer publishes annual reports. The last one was published in 2015. Please refer to other sections of this site, specifically the US and International pages, to see what projects CHS is currently working on.

Previous CHS Annual Reports:



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