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Grant Funding to Support 10 Multi-Sector Data-Sharing Projects

January 29, 2016
by David Raths
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Communities chosen to work on breaking down barriers between healthcare, social services, housing, education, transportation and law enforcement

Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has awarded 10 grants, totaling $2 million, to support projects that improve health through multi-sector data sharing collaborations.

The Illinois Public Health Institute, in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute, serves as the national program office for DASH and will assist grantees as they develop, implement and evaluate their funded projects.

The DASH grantees that will receive up to $200,000 each to develop and implement multi-sector data sharing project are:

•    Center for Health Care Services, San Antonio, TX; Using a Connected Information System to Enable Spontaneous, Shared Treatment of Adults with Severe Mental Illness

•    Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD; Baltimore Falls Reduction Initiative Engaging Neighborhoods and Data (B'FRIEND)

•    Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL; Childhood Lead Hazard Data Sharing Across Sectors

•    Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, Dallas, TX; Food For Health: Coordinating Care Across Sectors to Improve Health among Vulnerable Populations. (See Healthcare Informatics story on PCCI.)

•    The Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc., New York, NY; Building a Shared Information System Based on Neighborhood Tabulation Areas to Enhance the Community Health Improvement Capacity in New York City

•    Public Health - Seattle & King County, Seattle, WA; KC DASHH: King County Data Across Sectors for Housing and Health

•    HealthInfoNet, Portland, Maine; Maine Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) Project

•    Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; Altair Accountable Care for People with Disabilities

•    White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, Ogema, MN; White Earth Nation WECARE Implementation Project

•    Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA; Allegheny County Data Sharing Alliance for Health

Healthcare Informatics covered the DASH team’s presentation at the AcademyHealth Concordium 2015 meeting in Washington, D.C., last September. “The idea is to test an assumption most of us have: wouldn’t it be better if we had data that was concentrated in our community and that let us better understand what was happening, but also represented social determinants of health?” said Peter Eckart with the Illinois Public Health Institute, which is co-leading the DASH national coordinating office with the Michigan Public Health Institute. “It is an idea we all have, but it hasn’t been tested yet. We are fostering a learning collaboration intended to spin off lessons for an emerging field.”

The first step for the 10 communities is forming collaborations between health care, public health and other sectors, such as social services, housing, education, transportation, law enforcement and the private sector. DASH grantees aim to empower communities through multi-sector data sharing, helping key stakeholders make better decisions that lead to lower health care costs and healthier communities.

Over the next 18 months, the DASH National Program Office will lead a learning collaborative to build capacity and accelerate learning for developing and implementing multi-sector data and information systems. DASH will facilitate peer-to-peer learning among the 10 grantees, and will expand its reach by creating a shared learning platform.

DASH will closely coordinate grantee learning efforts with the Community Health Peer Learning Program, a new initiative designed to address specified population health management challenges through increased sharing and use of data from multiple sectors. 

"Our goal is to create a picture of health that is rich, comprehensive, and relevant so that communities have the information they need to make the most effective decisions. We're excited to have the opportunity to foster collaborations that can have a far-reaching influence on health," said DASH Co-Director Clare Tanner at the Michigan Public Health Institute, in a prepared statement.