Oct. 25, 2019

1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health announces
Pathways Community HUB

Jeannine McMillan named HUB executive director

JOHNSTOWN – The 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health (CPH), established through a partnership between 1889 Foundation and the Jefferson College of Population Health, today announced plans to work with community agencies to implement the Pathways Community HUB model to fight diabetes in the region. Additionally, Jeannine McMillan has been named the HUB executive director.

The HUB model is a coordinated way to ensure people with complex health needs are connected to a range of local, existing services needed to improve and manage their health. The HUB acts as “air traffic control” for the many local agencies currently addressing health and social service needs in the region. More than 40 communities across the nation have implemented HUB models.

The 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health identified diabetes as a focus after extensive research into the region’s health, which helped determine that addressing diabetes had the potential to create the biggest positive impact on the largest number of people. In July 2018, the organization issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify an evidence-based model to address health outcomes on a community-wide basis.  The HUB model was selected at the conclusion of this process.

“Many of the risk factors for developing Type II diabetes – including a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and poor diet – are related to what are called the ‘social determinants of health,’ or the conditions in which we live,” explained Susan Mann, president of 1889 Foundation. “For example, fast food is cheaper than fresh, healthy food, so if you’re struggling financially you may not make the best dietary choices. The HUB model is designed to help people manage all of these factors.”

According to the County Health Rankings, only about 20 percent of a person’s overall health is determined by clinical care. The HUB will help to address the other 80 percent of factors that influence a person’s health — socioeconomic factors and health behaviors, otherwise known as the “social determinants of health.”

“The HUB is not just another program but rather a care coordination delivery system developed by a partnership among local agencies and an advisory committee. It is not intended to replace or displace agencies but to connect and support them to ensure individual needs are identified and effectively coordinated in the community,” said Billy Oglesby, PhD, interim dean for the Jefferson College of Population Health.


About Jeannine McMillan

Jeannine McMillan, the new HUB executive director, comes to the position with a solid background in healthcare management and significant local experience. She was most recently manager of strategic planning for Duke LifePoint/Conemaugh Health System, where she coordinated the Community Health Needs Assessment. Her community activities include sitting on the boards of directors for the Cambria County Drug Coalition and The Learning Lamp. She is also a founding member of Women United for the United Way of the Laurel Highlands. In addition, she serves on the Health and Wellness Committee of the Johnstown Redevelopment Strategy. She holds an M.Ed. in adult education from Penn State University.

“I am thrilled to join the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health and help with the development of the HUB model,” McMillan said. “It will take an all hands on deck approach to improving the health of individuals in our region and I’m looking forward to collaborating with many local organizations to make a positive impact in our community.”

CPH staff member Leanna Bird, project manager, will also support the implementation of the HUB model.

About diabetes

Type II diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas produces some insulin, but not enough for the body’s needs – or in some cases the body’s cells become resistant to it. Type II diabetes, which accounts for as much as 95% of diabetes cases in adults, is on the rise in the United States, and millions of people are unaware that they have it. Complications of the disease include kidney damage or failure, heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage and more, and can be serious or even disabling. It is often possible to prevent or improve Type II diabetes by addressing lifestyle factors related to diet and exercise.

The 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health consulted a wide range of official data sources in their research into diabetes locally. Key findings include:

  • In Cambria and Somerset Counties, 14.5% and 12.6% of the population (respectively) suffer from diabetes.
  • Cambria and Somerset Counties had the 12th (22%) and 5th (22.6%) highest percent of diabetes-related hospitalizations out of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
  • A full 92% of diabetic patients in both counties had a diagnosis of Type II diabetes. The remaining 8% had other forms, including prediabetes (a condition where the patient is close to developing Type II), gestational diabetes (which develops during pregnancy), or Type I diabetes.
  • 25-30% of adults in Cambria and Somerset Counties say they do not exercise in their free time.
  • In Cambria County, 36.6% of people are overweight, while 27.3% are obese; in Somerset County, 27.5% are overweight, and 44.2% are obese.
  • From 2012-2016, 24.2 people per 100,000 in Cambria County died of diabetes, and 34.4 per 100,000 in Somerset County.

About the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population HealthThe 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health was founded as a collaborative research and resource center focused on population health and disease prevention to benefit the citizens living in Cambria and Somerset Counties. The center’s work focuses on identifying key contributing factors to poor health in the region and developing proactive and responsive strategies to address them.  The Center is the first of its kind established in a small rural community rather than a large metropolitan area. It is envisioned that the work of the center will provide a national model of how population health interventions can work in rural communities.

About the 1889 Foundation

1889 Foundation, Inc., formerly known as Conemaugh Health Foundation, was the recipient of funds from Conemaugh Health System’s sale to Duke LifePoint Healthcare in September, 2014. 1889 Foundation is dedicated to partnering within our community to identify where we can make the greatest difference in areas such as population health and disease prevention. The foundation’s focus for funding will concentrate on the areas that are negatively impacting the health and well-being of our local communities. The foundation’s mission is to support innovative programs and initiatives that improve and transform the overall health and wellness of our region.

About the Jefferson College of Population Health

The Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) is part of Thomas Jefferson University, a leading academic health center founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1824. JCPH is dedicated to exploring the policies and forces that define the health and well-being of populations. Its mission is to prepare leaders to evaluate, develop and implement health policies and systems that will improve the health of populations. JCPH provides exemplary graduate academic programming in population health, public health, health policy, healthcare quality and safety, and applied health economics and outcomes research.

Follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffersonJCPH or LinkedIn @Jefferson College of Population Health.