Community Health Institute (CHI) in Chuncheon has been engaged in community health research and service projects in the rural area of Chuncheon, Kangwon Province, since May of 1972.
CHI provides GSPH faculty and students with opportunities to implement public health research and preventive health services in the community, to educate community members about good health practices, and to develop a model for community health services applicable to both urban and rural areas in Korea. Since 1970, over 2,000 MPH students have taken part in the school-level mandatory "Community Health Field Training" course through the CHI, producing biennial reports and over 200 papers.
CHI has implemented public health research and projects in cooperation with the local government offices of Chuncheon on a variety of topics, including maternal and child health services, family planning, environmental health services, health education, industrial health, healthy aging and elderly care (i.e., eye care), chronic disease management (i.e., hypertension), and dental hygiene. The Center also operates a primary medical clinic for residents in the Chuncheon area.
In June of 1974, an experimental community health insurance plan was piloted in the Shindong-Myun district in Chuncheon city, followed by city-wide full adoption in 1977. The plan was successfully operated with the voluntary participation of over 40,000 residents, becoming a model for the national health insurance program. The program was merged into the national health insurance program in 1990.