Before we bid farewell to an eventful year dominated by the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, our Health Forward associates take a look back at significant events and projects and share their insights about the year 2013.
On day four of our year in review, Health Forward Evaluation and Policy Officer Jane Mosley re-introduces a data website specifically for our service area.
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”
— Daniel Keys Moran
Information is central to making health decisions, informing policy and designing programs to improve community health. Year after year, we hear from our external reviewers of our grants that they want proposals that are informed with local data. In fact, applications without this level of detail are simply not rated as highly.
And while we all agree about the importance of this information, we also know that it can be challenging for organizations, particularly those working on both sides of the state line, to know where to find reliable data.
In October, Health Forward launched a new website—kchealthmatters.org. This website was designed to have information on health outcomes, programs and resources all in one location. By compiling all of this into a single site, we are hoping the website can provide a starting point for organizations in the proposal writing process. With help from our partners, the Healthy Community Institute and the Kansas Health Institute, we designed the site to be user friendly.
The website goes beyond just compiling data — it assesses the data to help communities see how they are doing as a whole, compared to other areas and helps them evaluate, track and set benchmarks for the future.
It also features a database of promising practices that shows how other communities have solved health issues and allows programs to submit to be promising practices that can be shared with other websites across the country
We were excited to be able to launch the first phase of this resource this year, but in order to make it as useful as it can be, we need your feedback to help the site evolve and improve. If you know of data you think would make a good addition to this site, please let us know. If you want to have a program you’d like to be considered in the promising practice section, please fill out the submission form.
The more input the community adds to the website, the greater the overall benefit.