New Cook County Portal Contains Health Data for Over 120 Suburbs
One-stop tool can help suburban stakeholders identify and address health inequities
Forest Park, Ill. – Cook County Health Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Israel Rocha and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck today announced the availability of a new, public-facing, data portal called the Cook County Health Atlas.
The Health Atlas is a searchable database that residents, community organizations, policymakers, researchers and public health stakeholders can use to access, analyze, and download neighborhood- level health data from over 120 suburban Cook County municipalities. In the Health Atlas, users can look at more than 100 indicators of health, and see them visualized in maps, charts, graphs and tables of health-related data that matter to them.
Information from the Health Atlas can be used to identify health concerns across suburban Cook County. It provides a tool for exploring, identifying, and communicating environmental, neighborhood and other social determinants of health.
“Data featured in the Health Atlas helps us understand the health needs of the communities we serve and will support the priorities of The Change Institute of Cook County Health,” said Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha. “Just like a doctor uses a patient’s vital signs to understand their health and recommend treatments, we are using local data to inform where we need to direct health services, funding, education and other resources to improve the health of our communities.”
“The health department exists solely to protect the health and ensure the conditions for optimal wellness for the residents in suburban Cook County,” said CCDPH COO Dr. Hasbrouck. !The Health Atlas is a vital tool for assessing and prioritizing the conditions and drivers of health for the communities we serve.”
“This visualization platform will bolster our data-informed approaches to achieving equitable health outcomes while allowing us to monitor the impact of our programs and services over time,” said CCDPH Director of Epidemiology, Dr. Alfreda Holloway-Beth.
The Cook County Health Atlas is a multi-agency project. CCDPH partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC SPH) and Metopio to make the Health Atlas possible.
“More and more, we are learning how important our environments and experiences are to our health outcomes. As we strive to improve public health throughout Illinois and the country, we must start with a recognition that these factors not only differ from one region to another, but sometimes from block to block. We need to invest in tools to understand these hyperlocal differences,” said UIC School of Public Health Dean Dr. Wayne Giles.
The data spans six broad categories: health outcomes, health behaviors, healthcare, demographics, socioeconomic status, and physical environment. Data in the Atlas is being integrated in a phased approach and thus current data includes chronic disease, infectious disease, injury, violence, maternal and child health, substance use, access to care, demographics, socioeconomic, and physical environment indicators.
Future plans include expanding the Health Atlas to include results from the 2022 Cook County Health Survey. CCDPH is conducting the first survey of its kind to assess social, environmental, and health and risk behaviors of suburban Cook County residents ages 18 years and older. Invitations to participate in this randomized survey were mailed out last week. CCDPH encourages anyone who receives an invitation to complete the survey.
Data from the survey will be shared with residents, the public, public health leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders via the newly launched Cook County Health Atlas.
To learn more about the Cook County Health Atlas, visit: https://cookcountyhealthatlas.org/. To learn more about the Cook County Health Survey, visit: https://cookcountypublichealth.org/health-survey/