Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project: A Community Partnership

LVHN Department of Pediatrics
$1,913,010 over 30 months

Started in May 2016, the Allentown Children’s Health Improvement Project is an initiative led by a partnership between the Lehigh Valley Health Network Department of Community Health, the Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, and the Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley’s Allentown Promise Neighborhood (APN).

This grant supports the implementation of ACHIP over a 30-month period. The program’s primary goal is to improve the health of pregnant women and young children in Center City Allentown through ongoing home visits by Community Health Workers that focus on connections to resources and education. A secondary goal is testing an innovative approach to improving population health using community partnerships, family-centered assessments, targeted connections and interventions, and a focus on the child as the critical link to future health and wellbeing of populations.

The goals of ACHIP are being achieved using a proactive team-based approach with community health workers from and embedded into the community as the critical component. Their work is further supported by behavioral health services and nurse navigation. Community partnerships are also a critical component of this community-based approach, including partnerships with Community Services for Children, Sacred Heart Hospital, Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers, Nurse-Family Partnership, the Salvation Army, and the Allentown Health Bureau.

Community health workers participated in a 200-hour training program. The entire team and community collaborators were trained in an evidence-based parent education curriculum, and the ACHIP team established a downtown Allentown office within APN. Enrollment of families began in November 2016, with 80 families enrolled in the program in its first six months.

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