The Hassenfeld Study shows how a mother’s data can help countless children

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In Rhode Island, when pregnant women are ready to deliver their babies, 80% of them check in at Women & Infants in Providence, making it one of the largest obstetrical care hospitals in the country. If kids need urgent care, parents can rush them to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, which handles 90% of pediatric hospitalizations in the state. Nearby, Bradley Hospital is devoted to child and adolescent mental health.

There is no other state in the nation where so much of the population’s medical care takes place in an area that is, in effect, akin to the campus of a single medical school — in this case Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, which includes each of the three among its teaching hospital affiliates.

To build on the unique opportunity offered by that continuity of care, the Brown-based Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute commenced in 2017 an eponymous study of pregnant women and their babies over time. The original prenatal cohort of the Hassenfeld Study gathers data from pregnant women in their first or second trimester and follows them until after delivery. The study’s postnatal cohort, launched two years later, focuses on women after they have delivered at Women & Infants. Participants agree to share demographic information, provide saliva and blood samples, and complete regular surveys about their health. READ MORE