Researchers Receive Funding Award Aimed at Improving Early Childhood Preventive Care Outcomes

Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital will focus specifically on outcomes for Black children and their families.

July 26, 2022

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in partnership with researchers at Seattle Children’s Hospital, have been approved for a $5 million research funding award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for an innovative project that will test a community navigator model to improve the delivery of preventive care for young children and has a special focus on improving outcomes for Black children and their families.

“Well-child visits are important to a child’s overall health because they help address everything from kindergarten readiness and routine vaccinations, to social, developmental and health concerns as a child grows,” said Alex Kemper, MD, division chief of primary care pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s. “As providers, we always want to meet patients and their families where they are and provide them the resources they need. This research will help us take steps to both learn from the families we serve and further implement the support they need and want.”

Researchers and primary care providers from both institutions will collaborate to learn from Black families how a community health worker-based model for early childhood preventive care visits can be adapted to specifically met the needs of families served by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital primary care network. This model of care, called Parent-focused Redesign for Encounters, Newborns to Toddlers (PARENT) will be implemented and tested for effectiveness throughout the network’s primary care practices for all families.  A special focus will be put on eliminating health disparities for Black children and their families.

“Most families, particularly those living at the intersection of racism and poverty, have a wide variety of child preventive care needs that just cannot be met in our traditional model of well-child care”, said Tumaini Rucker Coker, MD, MBA, division chief of general pediatrics at Seattle Children’s and study principal investigator. “When we integrate community health workers into the primary care team, families receive more preventive care services--- that is why we are so excited to adapt and implement this model (PARENT) in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Primary Care Network, and the families it serves.”

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.

This award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

About Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-23 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit free-standing pediatric health care systems providing unique expertise in pediatric population health, behavioral health, genomics and health equity as the next frontiers in pediatric medicine, leading to best outcomes for the health of the whole child. Integrated clinical and research programs, as well as prioritizing quality and safety, are part of what allows Nationwide Children’s to advance its unique model of care. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 that provides state-of-the-art wellness, preventive and rehabilitative care and diagnostic treatment during more than 1.6 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities. More information is available at

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