Indiana University students support local clinic’s obstetrics center

Analyzing obstetrics data, statistics students analyze maternal healthcare issues


Carl Nelson


Jacob Simpson, Marshall Curry


Southern Indiana Community Health Care, Paoli, IN
Community Size
19,646 (2019 Census Estimation)
Indiana University
Sustaining Hoosier Communities
Case Type
Project Stories
Health, Management
EPA Region 5, USA
Sustainable Development Goals
3 Good Health and Well-Being

Orange County is a rural southern Indiana county comprising four incorporated towns and a number of unincorporated communities. Residents are intent on celebrating the county’s industrial roots, natural beauty, and historic architecture while embracing and preparing for the future. Local progress is driven in large part by “grassroots cooperative leadership” (Report, Pg. 4), while legal and medical non-profits provide essential communal services. This community-oriented mentality lends itself to innovative partnerships between various actors working towards common goals in areas like infrastructure, culture, tourism, and healthcare. 

Local community health center uses patient data to better understand  its maternal care

Southern Indiana Community Health Care (SICHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Paoli, Orange County’s seat. A fixture in the Orange County community, SICHC provides residents with vital health services, including a “full-service family practice and obstetrics center” (Services). The center collects a wealth of data on the families it serves and attempts to improve care through data analysis. Eager to engage the community in its work and invite fresh perspectives on obstetric healthcare, SICHC sought out the help of students at Indiana University. 

Equipped with the ACEs metric, statistics students conduct an analysis 

Southern Indiana Community Health Care reached out to the Sustaining Hoosier Communities (SHC) program at Indiana University. This partnership connected community partner Doris Weaver of SICHC with Dr. Syndee Knight’s analytical problem solving course in the Department of Sociology. Knight’s students, proficient in statistical problem solving, analyzed SICHC’s obstetrics patient data through the lens of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) metric. The result of a landmark ongoing study, ACEs demonstrate a correlation between adverse or traumatic experiences suffered in childhood and poor physical or mental health later in life.  

Making maternal care the best it can be while introducing curious students to the field

By analyzing the clinic’s obstetrics data in conjunction with known ACEs, students were able to identify relevant maternal health risk factors, such as substance use and barriers to care. Using these data-informed student findings, SICHC’s obstetricians can improve the quality of their care and the advice they give to new and expectant parents at the center. The partnership also gave students a valuable introduction to the obstetrics field.

Quality obstetrics care is a crucial part of a pregnant woman’s broader support system. Participating students helped Southern Indiana Community Health Care provide its patients with up to date information informed by leading research. Families who put their trust in the clinic can continue to expect quality family planning and peace of mind. 

Sustaining Hoosier Communities Contact Info
Jane Rogan
Sustaining Hoosier Communities Director
(812) 855-0568

Indiana University Faculty Contact Info
Syndee Knight

Read the full story of the partnership.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

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