Today Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr., (R-35), the Greater Johnstown School District (GJSD), 1889 Foundation and the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health held a press conference to announce a $100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to expand the Community Care HUB program to the GJSD.  The pilot program connects Community Health Workers (CHWs) with students in grades K-4 who have higher health, behavioral and social service needs. The CHW works with the student and their family in their homes to address the student’s needs and improve the overall health of the entire family unit.

“Only about 20 percent of a person’s overall health is determined by clinical care,” explained Susan Mann of 1889 Foundation. “The other 80 percent is socioeconomic factors known as ‘the social determinants of health.’ By addressing these factors at home, we can improve a student’s health and performance in school.”

The $100,000 PA Department of Education grant was obtained through the efforts of Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr., (R-35).

“The Community Care HUB makes a tremendous and meaningful impact on our residents.  Collaboration across the public and private sectors has benefited our region, and continued expansion of this program will reach even more students and families.  In turn, these families will receive the resources they need to maximize their full potential and success,” said Senator Langerholc, Jr.

The Community Care HUB program expansion is currently being piloted at the Johnstown Elementary School, with the hopes to expand to additional grade levels and school districts in the future.

“The results we have seen since the referrals began on April 1st have been so much more than we anticipated.  Since that time we have been able to refer 22 families from our elementary school who have received assistance from the community health worker to address student attendance, their child’s mental health, transportation, housing and food insecurities. The HUB model provides the necessary collaboration necessary to remove barriers that our families face, which have been magnified during the pandemic,” said Amy Arcurio, superintendent of GJSD.

The Community Care HUB, an initiative of the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health, follows the nationally-recognized and evidence-based Pathways Community HUB model developed by the Pathways Community HUB Institute.  HUB Care Coordination Agency partners – Alleghenies United Cerebral PalsyBeginnings, Inc.; and Community Action Partnership of Cambria County – employ the CHWs who work to reach out to those at greatest risk, identify their risk factors and assure that they connect to medical, social, and behavioral health services.

Grant funding can be used to hire more CHWs as needed. Funding will also provide incentives for students such as memberships to places such as the YMCA, and resources and needs such as food security, transportation, mental/behavioral health, and dental needs.