Two Studies Strengthen Pathways Community HUB Model Research Base

Ohio’s persistent infant mortality crisis, which disproportionately impacts Black women and children, has necessitated urgent solutions. The Pathways Community HUB Model, which pairs CHWs with at-risk clients, including pregnant people, is one solution that has been spreading throughout the state and nation. Two recent studies of Pathways HUB Community Action (PHCA) – a maternal and infant mortality HUB serving Summit County – offer compelling new evidence in support of the Pathways Community HUB Model.

One study reviewed data of pregnant people enrolled in PHCA who gave birth between 2016 through 2020 – and found evidence supporting the Pathways HUB model’s positive impact on pregnant clients and their infants. As described by Larwin and Larwin in their October 30, 2023 “Maternal and Infant Pathways HUB in NE Ohio: Influence on Birth Outcomes” article published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, “the services and support provided by the PHCA have a positive influence on birth outcomes by reducing the frequency of preterm births of their enrolled mothers to less than what might be expected, based on the existing research.”

A second study of the program offers new evidence of its return on investment. For every $1.00 spent on this program, $4.40 is returned in cost savings. Therefore, a $1 million investment would be expected to yield $4.4 million in cost savings due to improved birth outcomes and lower premature birth rates. According to the study authors, “these positive results suggest that the services provided to actively-enrolled mothers in the PHCA can begin to ameliorate the impact of social determinates and structural racism on the birth outcomes of these infants.”

The Better Health Pathways HUB is certified by the Pathways Community HUB Institute® (PCHI) and follows the Pathways Community HUB Model. Better Health Partnership is encouraged by the expanding research base supporting the model’s impact on both client outcomes and positive return on investment and we remain committed to supporting Cuyahoga County by making this program available to all members of the Better Health Pathways HUB. Stay tuned for future research on the Better Health Pathways HUB’s impact.


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