The 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health, originally established through funding from 1889 Foundation to Thomas Jefferson University, will become an independent 501c3 organization as of July 1, 2023.

The Center was established in 2017 as a collaborative research and resource center to benefit the citizens living in Cambria and Somerset counties. Its mission is to identify key contributing factors to poor health in the region and develop proactive and responsive strategies to address them.

The first of its kind established in a small rural community rather than a large metropolitan area, the Center now provides a national model of how population health interventions can work in rural communities.

A local health and wellness philanthropic organization, the 1889 Foundation originally provided a $7.5 million, five-year gift to the Jefferson College of Population Health of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to establish the Center in Johnstown. The partnership brought an academic approach and rigor to address poor health outcomes in the Cambria and Somerset region.

“This is a transformational moment for the Center and the community,” says Dr. Billy Oglesby, the Humana Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health. “We’re extremely proud of the team’s accomplishments and are happy to have been part of the creation of this new nonprofit organization.”

Over the past several years, the Center has implemented a Community Health Worker program called the Community Care HUB, launched initiatives in collaboration with many local health and human service agencies to address social determinant of health needs like food insecurity, housing, and mental health, and has worked with many regional, state and federal agencies to provide input on rural public health needs.

With the Center established as a community resource, the timing is right to branch out on its own as an independent entity.

“The 1889 Foundation is grateful for our partnership with Thomas Jefferson University, which was able to establish the Center in Johnstown and helped launch the Community Care HUB,” said Susan Mann, President of 1889 Foundation. “We are committed to the growth and continued development of the Center as it embarks on this new endeavor as a stand-alone entity with a shared mission to help bring innovative solutions to address the complex public health issues, including the socio-economic and cultural factors, that are influencing the health of our region.”

The Center plans to be fully independent by July 1, 2023, with a new name and new website. It will continue to focus on its mission of improving health and wellness by building resilient communities through collaboration, research and education.

“We are proud of the positive impact that the Center has been able to make over the past several years and look forward to the opportunity to continue and grow our work to improve health outcomes in the communities we serve,” says Jeannine McMillan, Executive Director at the Center.

Learn more about the work of the Center by visiting