Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Ike S Okosun, MS, MPH, PhD, FRSPH

Second Advisor

Teena François MPH



Identifying Data Needs to Support the Public Health Program of First Care


First Care (FC) is a Georgia (GA) public health (PH) program funded by Title V Block Grant, whose main purpose is to provide collaborative skilled PH services for infants with LBW and VLBW (low and very low birth weight) as well as those considered at high risk for illness and disabilities.


1. Describe current health outcomes of GA infants less than one years of age.

* Current baselines of IMR (infant mortality rate), preterm, very low birth weight (VLBW) and low birth weight (LBW) births

2. Use data to inform FC program in order to improve overall health outcomes in LBW, VLBW and preterm infants less than 1 years of age in GA as well as IMR.

* Identifying common diagnoses and reasons for the hospitalization of infants less than one.


Several online secondary data sources containing GA birth outcomes were evaluated. These sources were used to produce most current or 2008, GA and national profiles on health outcomes such as IMR, preterm, LBW and VLBW births. SAS was used to evaluate OHIP (Office of Health Information and Policy) hospital discharges in 2008 to determine common diagnosis affecting GA children under 1 years of age.


National comparisons of health outcomes revealed that GA consistently ranks below the national average for IMR, preterm, VLBW, and LBW births. GA’s poor health outcomes are also seen when compared to Healthy People 2010 objectives. A comparison of GA public health districts (PHD) health outcomes demonstrates lagging indicators mainly in the southern and midsection (central section) of GA. This study also revealed racial disparities indicating Blacks falling behind in all health outcomes when compared to Whites and Hispanics. Statistical analysis of hospital discharges showed that the top 25 discharges reflect common conditions that affect high-risk infants such as preterm, VLBW and LBW infants. Higher rates of morbidity were found in the southern and central PHDs of GA.


The purpose for FC is to provide current data baselines on health outcomes of GA infants less than one year of age, as well as information regarding current hospitalizations. Current results are only preliminary findings underscoring the need for continued research. By emphasizing their need for monitoring will allow FC to focus on this critical role that will only grow with an expanding population in GA.


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Public Health Commons