The Department of Health and Human Services has launched an initiative to make federally generated community health data widely available to the public in easily accessible and useful formats.

"Our national health data constitute a precious resource that we are paying billions to assemble, but then too often wasting," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said while announcing the Community Health Data Initiative. "When information sits on the shelves of government offices, it is underperforming. We need to bring these data alive." Doing so can help communities determine best approaches to improving health status, she added.

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