178831 Utilizing the CT Health Equity Index, GIS, and Community Engagement to Address Health Inequities

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:55 PM

Baker Salsbury, MPH, MSW, MHSA , Director of Health, Ledge Light Health District, Groton, CT
The Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, Inc., has developed a health equity index, a tool that provides a way to conceptualize and measure the influence of community context on population health and health disparities at a neighborhood level. It is based on a set of nine Social Determinants linked to health status: Economic Security, Livelihood and Employment, Education, Environmental Quality, Health Care Access, Housing, Civic Involvement, Community Safety, and Transportation. Components specify sub-categories within each determinant and indicators within each component provide measures of specific characteristics or conditions. Indicator data are categorized into a six-point scale ranging from low to high, i.e. the more favorable a specific condition the higher the score. Indicator, Determinant and overall Index scores are statistically analyzed against demographic and health outcome data. Preliminary statistical testing of the instrument has been conducted within 20 neighborhoods in Connecticut. Findings indicate that a lower HEI score is correlated with higher levels of chronic disease, injuries, emergency admissions, premature mortality and higher rates of communicable diseases. The findings are measurable and evidence-based, providing associations that link health outcomes with economic, environmental, and social indicators. Community planners, activists, organizations, and decision-makers can be provided with meaningful local data that reveals linkages between root causes and health inequities. This creates a platform for identifying potential policy or regulatory changes to address inequities.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the nine social determinants used in the CT Health Equity Index and their linkage with health status. 2.Articulate how GIS mapping can be applied to the CT Health Equity Index findings to create visual representation of indicator associations at the neighborhood level. 3.Define the role of local health departments in coordinating and leading community efforts to produce policy and regulatory changes that can reduce inequity.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary project developer and previous president of the CT Association of Directors of Health, Inc., a state affiliate of NACCHO
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.