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What is a community health center?

A community health center is a non-profit provider of primary and preventive health services, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It functions like a doctor’s office, offering services such as regular office visits, check-ups, screenings, and case management for chronic conditions. Community health centers have the ability to provide even more services; at Community Health Center of Cape Cod, in addition to medical care, our patients can receive dental care, behavioral health, family planning and pharmacy services, as well as referrals for specialty care.

Community health centers care for all patients, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. Patients without health insurance receive a financial screening to determine if they qualify for any public health benefits programs. Those without insurance coverage are expected to make payments for their visits; these payments are based on a sliding scale and determined by the results of their financial screening.

Our Board of Directors

A unique aspect of community health centers is that they are consumer driven, meaning that more than one half of the Board of Directors are patients of the Health Center. After all, who knows best the needs of patients and the community than the people who use the services themselves?

With different skills and backgrounds, our Board members work together to make decisions about how the Health Center can best serve our community. We are grateful to them for their dedication and hard work. Following is a list of members of the Health Center’s Board of Directors:


  • David V. Peterson, Jr., President
  • Nancy Barnett, MD, Vice President
  • Rudolph R. Hunter, Treasurer/Member at Large
  • Brenda Swithenbank, Clerk


  • Madeleine Wing Adler
  • Tom Chadie
  • Gina Hotton
  • Beverly Jacobson
  • Ralph Sewall
  • Paul Smith
  • Anita M. Thacker
  • Matthew Waterbury, OD
  • David Weston

Presidents Emeriti:

  • Michael Bihari, MD
  • Bernard E. Maney, MD
  • William M. McDermott, MD

Administrative Staff:

  • Karen Gardner, Chief Executive Officer
  • David S. Tager, MD, Chief Medical Officer
  • Katy O’Connell, Chief Operating Officer
  • Alice Cook, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health
  • Michael Forbes, BSPharm, RPh, Director of Pharmacy Services
  • Joanne Mazar, Director of Human Resources
  • Ann-Marie Richard, Chief Financial Officer
  • Suzanne Robbins, MSN, RN, Director of Clinical Operations
  • Dawn M. West, DMD, Director of Dental Services
  • Nyssa A. Ferrazzara, OD, MS, FAAO


Karen Gardner and David Peterson, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer Karen Gardner and President of the Board of Directors David Peterson, Jr.

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