Date: November 7, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Sykes
KANSAS CITY, MO – A new initiative from the Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) is helping residents in Greater Kansas City think healthy.
The web-based tool, kchealthmatters.org, is now available to anyone interested in improving community health and wellness. It was designed as a resource for community health professionals, coalitions, policymakers, researchers and advocates to access information about health and quality of life indicators for the communities they serve.
Health Forward partnered nationally with the Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) and regionally with the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) to launch the site, which features more than 100 health indicators.
“The website has been developed as a one-stop source for data and information about the health of communities and many of the factors that contribute to health and illness,” said Health Forward President/CEO Bridget McCandless, M.D. “Having a portal that compiles the most current data and best practices makes it easy for people to connect a need with possible solutions.”
Community dashboard that allows for local health indicator comparisons to other counties as well as comparisons to Healthy People 2020 goals
Disparities dashboard that can be used to examine differences in health status based on race/ethnicity, age and gender
A repository of locally and nationally recognized evidence-based promising practices that may be tailored and replicated in our communities
Reporting tools to allow user to quickly integrate site content into reports that can be shared or saved
Report center that allows visitors to view reports and documents related to health and wellness in the Greater Kansas City area
“In order to make progress on health outcomes, we need to have data that can tell us where the gaps are in our services and where the needs are the greatest. Sometimes the data is surprising and may challenge our current ideas or beliefs. Our goal was to bring information from multiple websites and gather it in one place to make it easily accessible to the public,” said Health Forward Program and Evaluation Officer Jane Mosley, Ph.D.
Website data is updated quarterly by HCI and KHI and is pulled from dozens of sources meeting rigorous criteria for data collection and analysis.
“We are happy to support Health Forward in the development of this valuable tool to help inform and empower Kansas Citians to improve health and quality of life for their communities,” said Tatiana Y. Lin, M.A., Senior Analyst and Strategy Team Leader, Kansas Health Institute. “The website helps the community see how it is doing as a whole and helps them to evaluate, track and set benchmarks for the future.”
Also available on the website are tutorial videos to help users navigate and use the tools available through kchealthmatters.org. Health Forward hopes to partners with other community organizations to continue to enhance the site.
“This new resource helps supports those in the community with facts and figures to address serious problems, design programs for change and advocate for policy changes,” said Dr. McCandless. “This is more than just a new communications tool – it is about connecting people with information to work together to improve health and well being.”
ABOUT Health Forward
The Health Forward Foundation provides leadership, advocacy and resources that eliminate barriers to quality health for the uninsured and underserved in Kansas City, Missouri, Cass, Jackson and Lafayette counties in Missouri and Allen, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Since it began grantmaking in 2005, Health Forward has awarded over $180 million to agencies addressing health needs in the community. For more information, visit healthforward.org.
ABOUT THE KANSAS HEALTH INSTITUTE
The Kansas Health Institute is an independent, nonprofit health policy and research organization that informs policymakers about important issues affecting the health of Kansans.
ABOUT HEALTHY COMMUNITIES INSTITUTE
The Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) mission is to improve the health and environmental sustainability of cities, counties and communities worldwide. We develop and maintain a high-quality data and decision support information system designed to improve indicator tracking, best practice sharing and community development. We are a multi-disciplinary team comprising healthcare information technology veterans, academicians and former senior government officials. The company is rooted in work started in 2002 in concert with the Healthy Cities Movement and the University of California at Berkeley. Our management team from Harvard University, Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley has expertise in informatics, public health, urban sustainability, community planning and high volume Internet sites.