A new community-level public health data portal is now available for Cook County.
The Cook County Health Atlas is a searchable database that residents, community organizations, researchers, and public health actors can use to easily access, analyze, and download neighborhood-level health data from 26 cities and 176 zip codes located in the suburb of Cook County. In the portal, users can view more than 100 health indicators and visualize them on maps, charts, graphs and tables for free.
The atlas is a multi-agency collaborative project facilitated by the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Cook County Department of Public Health, and Metopio, supported by funding from the Chicago Community Trust. The PHAME Center of the UIC School of Public Health oversees the database, which runs on an interface powered by Metopio.
Information from the atlas can be used to identify health issues in the 126 municipalities represented and to identify and provide tools to explore and communicate environmental, neighborhood and other social determinants of health.
While Chicago has had its own database for over 10 years, nothing like it has been available to provide hyperlocal data on or to residents of Cook County.
“Increasingly, we are learning how important our environments and experiences are to our health outcomes. As we strive to improve public health across Illinois and the country, we must begin by recognizing that these factors differ not just from region to region, but sometimes block by block, and that we must invest in tools to understand these hyperlocal differences. said Dr Wayne Giles, Dean of the UIC School of Public Health. “This includes closing the gap we have in available data from urban areas, where there are typically more health systems, policymakers and academics, for example, and suburban and rural areas.”
“The department exists solely to protect the health and provide conditions for optimal well-being for residents of suburban Cook County,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “The Health Atlas is an essential tool for assessing and prioritizing the conditions and drivers of health for the communities we serve. This visualization platform will strengthen our data-driven approaches to achieving equitable health outcomes while allowing us to monitor the impact of our programs and services over time.
The platform includes community engagement and advanced analytics and data visualization capabilities, as well as interoperability with the Chicago Health Atlas, which was created over 10 years ago but relaunched in 2021 under a similar administration of UIC and Metopio, a developer of data, analysis and visualization software. .
“Data shouldn’t be locked in silos or hard to access,” said Will Snyder, CEO and co-founder of Metopio. “Communities deserve easy access to data. They also deserve to be able to use data to understand people and places, regardless of their data science background. Empowering Cook County residents with the Health Atlas increases collaboration and creates opportunities to establish meaningful policies, partnerships and programs for positive impact.
Many indicators are already available on the atlas, but additional indicators will be rolled out in phases over the next year.
Indicators already in the atlas include currently available data on community health status assessment, social vulnerability index, prevalence of communicable diseases, and opioid-induced mortality.
Phases two and three will include the addition of other currently available data. Phase two will include 2018-2020 death and birth rates and self-reported health information for high school students through the 2020 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Phase three will include inpatient data summaries and outpatients from 2018-2020.
Phase four – scheduled for spring 2023 – will include results from upcoming surveys, such as the 2022 Cook County Health Survey, which will be administered in summer 2022, and the Youth At-Risk Behavior Surveillance System 2022, which will be administered in the fall of 2022.