Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Webinar: Community Health Status Indicators

April 16, 2009
Community Health Status Indicators: Employing a New Tool for Assessments and Planning

Jennifer Stanley, MA
Director, Public Health Systems Research
Public Health Foundation
Washington, DC

Norma Kanarek, PhD
Executive Director, CRF at Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD

This webinar will showcase and provide a tour of the newly released Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) containing individualized reports for more than 3,000 counties in the United States. The CHSI online tool provides local and state public health agencies, hospitals, community health centers, community organizations, policymakers, and researchers with unprecedented access to comprehensive and nationally comparable health data. The goal of CHSI is to provide easy-to-understand reports that convey the breadth of public and community health issues, and the uniqueness of local health needs and community assets. It is intended to support local health improvement and needs assessment with data assembled from multiple sources.

County reports present demographics, summary measures of health, preventive services use, estimates of vulnerable populations, birth and death measures, risk factors for premature death, indicators of environmental factors, and health care availability. Plus, every county is matched with peer jurisdictions for comparative analysis and benchmarking of health indicators with similar communities. (The CHSI Working Group includes: the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the Public Health Foundation (PHF), and faculty from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a funder of the current CHSI dissemination efforts.)

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify health status indicators that are available at the county level in the CHSI website
  • Identify where to find the reports, peer counties, and downloadable database
  • Identify and discuss ways in which this tool can be employed to support needs assessment, priority-setting, and community health action planning
Edited to add: I forgot where to tell you to sign up! Go here for more information.


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