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Launching HHS Community Health Data Initiative

Alexia Kelley, Director of the HHS Partnerships Center, discusses a new resource that will put health data to work for local communities.
This week, I joined over 300 representatives from community organizations and technology groups, as well as government and public health experts for the launch of the Community Health Data Initiative.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius kicked off the day (cosponsored by HHS and the Institute of Medicine) by introducing the Initiative, an innovative public private partnership that puts public health data to work for communities.
The goal of the Initiative is simple: to empower communities with accessible and relevant data about health performance, and spark action to improve community health. One of the things I found most interesting was a session in which community organizations and leaders shared their own technology innovations, and offered suggestions on how the Initiative could most effectively be shared and utilized by communities.
At the event, technology pioneers and developers demonstrated 16 new applications that make use of a Community Health Data Set. This data set includes accessible, standardized and downloadable information from across HHS on health, health care and health determinants. Technology innovators spent the last 12 weeks developing a variety of applications for the data. Innovations resulting from this flurry of activity include a community health dashboard, interactive health maps and video games for kids to engage in health efforts.
What’s next? A new one-stop-shop for online data – the HHS Health Indicators Warehouse – that will launch at the end of the year to provide currently available and new HHS data on national, state, regional and county health performance.
Representatives from Community Organizations and Technology Groups Launch Community Health Data Initiative

Derek Van Brunt, with the Healthy Communities Institute, Dr. Joyce Essien of Emory University and CDC, Jamila Rashid with HHS’ Office of Minority Health, and Eric Baumgarten with the Louisiana Public Health Institute share participate in the Community Health Data Initiative launch. June 2, 2010. (by Alexia Kelley)

Alexia Kelley is Director of HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships