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Dashboard Tracks Health Data at City Level

February 7, 2017
by David Raths
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Pilot effort in four cities: Flint, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Providence, R.I.; and Waco, Texas

The New York University School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health has developed a City Health Dashboard to help cities understand, compare and take action to improve health status and health risks in their municipalities.

Developed with NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, in partnership with the National Resource Network, the Dashboard includes 26 measures related to health across five domains: Health Outcomes, Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social and Economic Factors, and the Physical Environment.

Many of the measures reported in the Dashboard have not previously been readily accessible at the city level. By bringing together data on health status, behavioral risks, and social determinants of health, calculated to the city (and in some cases neighborhood or census tract) level), the Dashboard has the potential to be a new resource for cities seeking to improve population health.

The Dashboard’s developers note that 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, yet for mayors, city managers, and local health officials seeking to drive health improvements, there has been no standardized tool for understanding and benchmarking a city’s performance and relative standing on actionable and widely accepted indicators of health and health risk.

The City Health Dashboard, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been built to fill gaps on measuring and comparing health at the city level. This pilot effort has been conducted for and with support from four cities: Flint, Michigan; Kansas City, Kansas; Providence, Rhode Island; and Waco, Texas. By presenting the evidence necessary to understand population health status and its actionable determinants and allowing ready comparisons across cities, this tool is designed to help city officials and key community and other stakeholders to drive improvements in population health.





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