The Division of Public Health launched a data portal allowing Delawareans to assess the overall health of their communities.

The My Healthy Community data portal delivers neighborhood-focused population health, environmental and social determinants of health data to the public. The innovative technological showpiece, which was unveiled at the Route 9 Library and Innovation Center in New Castle, allows users to navigate the data at the smallest geographical area available, to understand and explore data about the factors that influence health.

Access the My Healthy Community data portal at myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov.

Delaware residents are able to explore various data indicators in the community characteristics, the environment, chronic disease and mental health and substance use categories. Air quality data, asthma incidence data, public and private drinking water results and drug overdose and death data are available. Over the next several months, additional categories and data indicators are expected to be added including community safety, maternal and child health, healthy lifestyles, health services utilization, infectious diseases, education, socioeconomic influencers, lead poisoning, suicide and homicide and populations vulnerable to climate change.

Residents can search health indicators by street address, ZIP code, census tract, neighborhood, town/city, county and state. In addition, they can compare their community’s health measures with other Delaware communities, their county and the state as a whole, as well as view data trends over time. To ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, not all data can be made available at the community level; therefore, the system is designed to provide data for the smallest geographic area possible.

Drug overdose deaths, non-fatal drug overdoses and youth use of prescription pain medicines are available through My Healthy Community. Also for the first time, Emergency Department non-fatal drug overdose data from DPH and Prescription Monitoring Program data will be available thanks to a partnership with the Division of Professional Regulation.

My Healthy Community has been in the making through a partnership among several DPH programs, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Division of Substance Use and Mental Health and the Delaware Health Care Commission. One hundred thirty-eight thousand five hundred dollars in seed funding for this project was provided by DNREC in 2016, $79,000 for the initial research phase and $59,500 for construction of the of the data portal’s framework with supplemental funding from DPH through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funds — $30,000 for development. DPH’s contractor for this project was Green River of Brattleboro, Vermont.

Additional funding was provided by DSAMH for substance use disorder data and from the HCC to build in additional health indicators starting this summer, that will also serve to highlight Delaware’s progress in meeting health care benchmarks — obesity, tobacco use, preventable Emergency Department visits, etc. — as part of DHSS’s ongoing efforts to bring transparency to health care spending and to set targets for improving the health of Delawareans. Future funding has been secured from DNREC for data on vulnerable populations and climate change, and from DPH through CDC grants for violent death data and internal sharing of timely SUD data.

My Healthy Community encompasses the Delaware Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, and benefits from participation in an Environmental Public Health Tracking Peer-to-Peer Fellowship program through the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, with the Kentucky Department of Health as Delaware’s EPHTN mentor.

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