Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Corrine Williams

Committee Member

Dr. Richard Crosby

Committee Member

Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli


Target Population and Need

Hamilton County, Ohio exhibits high rates of poverty, unemployment, and negative health outcomes. Specifically, Hamilton County continues to perform poorly in maternal and child health outcomes such as infant mortality, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth rates. Many people in the community exbibit poor health behaviors such as inadequate prenatal care, drug use during pregnancy, and smoking during pregnancy.

Program Approach

The Hamilton County Health Department intends to implement an evidence based group prenatal care program, CenteringPregnancy, in three health centers around Hamilton County in an effort to reduce poor maternal and child health outcomes. CenteringPregnancy is a program where 10-12 women of similar gestational age come together for 10 sessions of group prenatal care. The three main components of CenteringPregnancy are health assessments, education, and social support. Each of the three health centers where this program will be implemented have a variety of partnering nonprofits that surround them as well as a robust medical system that will lend to the recruitment of women. We will work with hospitals and existing medical systems to seamlessly integrate billing practices so the program can be billed as traditional prenatal care.

Performance Measures and Evaluation

A seven part process evaluation will be implemented in order to monitor the implementation of the program. Participants in the program will be given a survey consisting of five previously validated measures at program entry, the third trimester, and postpartum. This will allow us to monitor short term and intermediate outcomes. Additionally, birth certificate data will be used to compare the birth outcomes of program participants to nonparticipants.

Capacity and Experience of the Applicant Organization

The Hamilton County Health Department serves 481,000 residents, and has been serving the community for over 100 years. In 2017, the health department become PHAB accredited. In addition, the health department currently leads many community wide initiatives and programs that have been very successful.

Partnerships and Collaboration

This program will have key collaboration and implementation partners that include: CHI Inc., eight local nonprofits, the local health centers, and four partnering hospitals. Each of these partners is deeply rooted in the community and has strong ties to many different groups of our target population. In addition, our program stakeholders include: our community advisory group, the boards of our partner hospitals, the state medical board of Ohio, the preschools in the Hamilton County community, the extension office of The University of Cincinnati, and three key national coalitions (NAPW, MCC, Healthy Mother, Health Babies Coalition).

Project Management

The leads of the project staff will include the health department director who will serve as the principle investigator and the project director who will oversee the program implementation and processes. The community engagement coordinator will be tasked with recruitment activities. The biostatistician will be responsible for all data analysis. In addition, the secretary/intern coordinator will be in charge of all paperwork and scheduling. There will also be six nurses or nurse midwives that are leading the groups at each of the three centers (two per center). Two social work interns and two nursing student interns will be assigned to each site to assist with the group sessions. Lastly, there will be a childcare worker at each site.

Included in

Public Health Commons