New Website Combines Info From Local Hospitals, Public Health

POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 --- 1:00 p.m.

Release from Public Health Madison & Dane County

Madison WI – February 26, 2013 – A new website designed to provide community organizations and the public with up-to-date health and population data was launched today. The HealthyDane.org site will provide these organizations and the public with a wide variety of easy-to-access information that will help them better understand the health needs in Dane County.

The development of this resource was the result of an extraordinary collaboration between Dane County’s four not-for-profit hospitals and Public Health- Madison & Dane County (PHMDC). This group, working together as the Healthy Dane Collaborative has devoted over 2 years of coordinated efforts to turn this project into reality. The partnership consists of Meriter Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Stoughton Hospital, UW Hospital and Clinics and Public Health - Madison & Dane County.

The site was created by the Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) in collaboration with representatives from the Healthy Dane partner organizations. HCI accesses and synthesizes publicly available data to create a continuously updated snapshot of the health of Dane County. Indicators are chosen based on national standards and the availability of local and comparison data. The site offers the option of adding local data, and some of the Healthy Dane partners have already done this.

The cost of the site is shared by the participating hospitals, and PHMDC provides staff support to manage the website.

Examples of what the site offers include

--Data on how Dane County ranks on a wide range of health and quality of life indicators

--U.S. Census Bureau data that describes Dane County: People, Business and Geography Quick Facts

--How we are doing compared to the national Healthy People 2020 goals

--A database of Promising Practices helps the user find effective strategies used across the nation to address specific community health issues

--Tools to help the user generate reports

According to Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health – Madison & Dane County, “We are genuinely excited to be offering this new resource to our community. The active collaboration between our department and the participating hospitals created very positive synergies that will have longer term positive impacts on the community. The site itself will be a rich source of specific data and useful information to researchers, professors, students at all levels, and residents interested in the health of their community.”

Dr. Ken Loving Medical Director of PHMDC and CEO of Access Community Health Centers added "HealthyDane.org is a gift to our community. This tool brings together information from countless sources into a format that is straightforward and useful. HealthyDane.org will help our organization to meet some of our federal requirements and to plan programming to better meet community needs."

“The public/private collaborative effort that developed this new tool is really gratifying,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. “I look forward to watching the project grow, as its opportunities for use are incredible.”

“The Healthy Dane website is a remarkable new tool for both public and private entities in the health care community of Dane County. It will be a tremendous asset for evaluating the health needs of our county and is a prime example of what can be accomplished when we work together,” added Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

The partnership expects that the site will also be useful for people and organizations needing data to support grant applications, develop collaborative initiatives and to create community based strategies and interventions.

Heinrich added, “The information found on this site will be helpful for anyone interested in understanding and working to improve the health of our Dane County population. Clearly, the HealthyDane website will facilitate our community assessment activities, something all local health departments are mandated to do. It will also meet the needs of the many community organizations that ask us for local health status data to inform their work and bring grant dollars into the county. But perhaps most importantly, we think that the Healthy Dane website will greatly raise awareness of community health needs and stimulate more community action to address them.”

The site is now available at

healthydane.org


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