Santa Clara County launches health data portal for residents

The Public Health Department in Santa Clara County, Calif., has launched a user-friendly online tool for residents to access health data.

“Data at the neighborhood level helps programs work better and smarter to address health inequities in our county,” says Ken Yeager, Santa Clara’s county supervisor. “This is part of the county’s investment to support local nonprofits, city governments and residents with the data they need to run great programs. We look forward to seeing how this data will continue to build innovative health solutions across Silicon Valley.”

The Open Data Portal, which is hosted by mapping and location analytics vendor Esri, includes searchable and downloadable information on more than 100 health topics, as well as the latest local metrics and demographics based on race, ethnicity and income.

Topics broken down by city and neighborhood in the portal include fast food consumption, e-cigarette use and physical activity, in an effort to encourage county residents to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Also See: CDC interactive website brings health data down to the neighborhood level

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According to officials, data for the portal on the health status of county residents was gathered and analyzed by the Public Health Department’s epidemiologists, who collected the information from “reputable sources,” such as the State of California, federal government and nonprofit organizations.

“Good data is required to make informed public health decisions, and the Open Data Portal helps all of us understand factors that contribute to our health,” says Sara Cody, MD, director of the Public Health Department and county health officer. “By making our county’s health data accessible to anyone with an internet connection, we put power in the hands of our community and many partners to help us improve health.”

In addition, the portal features “story maps” that highlight specific health issues—including influenza, opioid abuse, suicide, teen births, and tuberculosis—and how the county is addressing these challenges.

“The county needs to share how well we are doing and where we need to do better,” adds René G. Santiago, deputy county executive and director of the County of Santa Clara Health and Hospital System. “Sharing data responsibly about health successes and disparities is one way towards creating healthier communities. In this manner, we can work together to improve our living conditions. This portal is a testament to Public Health’s mission to assess the needs of communities, openly share data that promotes optimal health, and offer community partners tools and data on how we can make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

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