The Omaha Community Foundation is honored to announce that it will serve as the Pathways Community HUB for the Omaha metro area. The local program is part of a national initiative to create care coordination networks to serve under-resourced residents.
CHI Health, Healthy Blue Nebraska, Nebraska Total Care and United Healthcare are each contributing $250,000 to fund the HUB’s operations for the first two years.
Following the Pathways Initiative HUB model, the Omaha Community Foundation will develop a sustainable network of Community Health Workers — trained frontline public health workers who have a deep understanding of and connection to the community.
The HUB will contract with agencies that employ Community Health Workers, who will identify at-risk individuals and connect them with medical, behavioral, and social services to remove barriers to health.
“One of our core values at the Omaha Community Foundation is to strengthen our community by building connections between people, ideas, and funding. Serving as the Pathways Community HUB for the Omaha area is a natural extension of that work,” said Donna Kush, President and CEO of the Omaha Community Foundation. “We look forward to engaging partners from the healthcare and nonprofit communities to build this program.”
CHI Health brought the program to Nebraska by partnering with the Pathways Community HUB Institute, a national nonprofit that developed an effective model to help communities work together to support underserved populations. The Pathways model is in place in 35 communities across the country.
The model includes connecting participants to services, tracking outcomes, and contracting with payers that directly tie payment back to the outcomes.
The Community Health Access Project, the Pathways HUB for six counties in Ohio, reported a 60% reduction in low birth weight births for participants, and a $5.59 return for every $1 invested in Pathways HUB model.
In Omaha, the initial phase of the program will focus on addressing health disparities among pregnant and postpartum individuals at greatest risk for poor birth outcomes. In Omaha, Black individuals experience significantly higher rates of preterm birth, and Black infants have a higher mortality rate in the first year of life than infants of other races.
The program will start by working with Black individuals who live east of 72nd Street. A community needs index identified that group as facing the most barriers to healthy pregnancy outcomes.
“Once a robust, sustainable network of Community Health Workers is established, the program can be extended to address other health needs in the community, such as mental health care or care for low-income seniors,” Kush said.
“The Omaha Community Foundation’s role is to serve as an incubator for the HUB, establishing the administrative infrastructure and partnerships that will allow it become a self-supporting community organization,” Kush added. “The Women’s Fund of Omaha, Front Porch Investments, and Omaha By Design all started as Omaha Community Foundation programs, and all three are vibrant organizations making positive impacts in our community. We will use all of that learned experience and apply it to our work as the Pathways HUB.”
The Omaha Community Metro Pathways Core Team selected the Omaha Community Foundation to serve as the HUB for the Omaha area following a request-for-proposals process.
The Omaha Pathways Core Team will serve as an advisory council to the HUB during the initial implementation of the program. Members of the Core Team include representatives from Charles Drew Health Center, CHI Health, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, CommonSpirit Health, CyncHealth, Douglas County Health Department, Healthy Blue Nebraska, Medica, Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medicine, Nebraska Total Care, One World Community Health Centers, United HealthCare, United Way of the Midlands, and The Wellbeing Partners.
The Omaha Community Foundation will create an Advisory Committee to provide guidance and oversight that includes community members in the focus population — including individuals who have experienced various barriers to health— as well as health care providers, social services agencies and nonprofits that serve the community.
The HUB plans to begin enrolling participants in Spring 2023.
To learn more about the Pathways Community HUB Institute’s model, visit pchi-hub.org/our-model.
About the Omaha Community Foundation
The Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) uses both established philanthropic strategies and innovative programs to address our area’s social and economic needs. By mindfully connecting donors to local nonprofits and helping direct resources to areas that will strengthen our community, the Omaha Community Foundation has positively impacted thousands of organizations.
In 2021, OCF distributed more than $175 million in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofits. OCF manages $1.6 billion in assets, and has granted more than $2 billion since its formation in 1982.