Online Program

Characteristics of a local health department that support use of social determinant data to mitigate health disparities

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Moira Lawson, PhD, MPH, Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, Hartford, CT
Sharon Mierzwa, MPH RD, Health Equity Alliance project, Connecticut Association of Directors of Health, Hartford, CT
Michael Knapp, PhD, Green River, Brattleboro, VT
Jennifer Kertanis, MPH, Farmington Valley Health District, Canton, CT
Local health departments (LHD) throughout the country face challenges in applying timely, reliable, and credible data to their decision-making. The Connecticut Public Health Practice Based Research network (CT PBRN) assessed the utility of equipping local health departments with a data-driven instrument to aid their understanding of the populations they serve. Connecticut LHDs were provided with a health equity index as an instrument and method to assess town-specific community measures that impact health outcomes. Analysis of LHD characteristics such as staff training and expertise, population served, staff size, governance, and prior experience using data for decision making were examined to determine if these factors were significantly associated with use of the index. Health departments were categorized as low, medium and high users of the index, based on frequency and duration of use. Findings showed that full time health departments were more likely to use the index than rural part-time departments, and that the size of the population served and form of governance were the most important determinants for usage of this data. Social and demographic characteristics of the population served were less likely to be correlated with index usage. Participants will be introduced to the index instrument and the analytics utilized to assess its usage and associated findings.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the purpose and framework of the Health Equity Index as a tool for assessing community conditions and health outcomes. Identify characteristics of local health departments correlated with increased use of social determinant data.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, Data/Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-Director of the Connecticut Practice-Based Research Network. Additionally,I support the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health's health equity initiatives to reframe community assessment and improvements in health outcomes through an emphasis on public health policy and practice. I have held the position of Associate Professor at The University of Copenhagen in Denmark and a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University College of Physicians.
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.