Chicago Celebrates the Unveiling of the New Chicago Health Atlas

Cheers to Four Years

In 2013 with the generous support of the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, the Chicago Health Atlas debuted as the number one resource and repository for health data in Chicago. The Atlas displayed huge amounts of data so that residents could take action to improve their own health, including detailed pages for every hospital in Chicago.

In September 2016, Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) added a new data set to the Chicago Health Atlas. This addition made demographic and population health data available by Hospital Service Area. Next up, the 75 indicators from the Healthy Chicago 2.0 plan were added to the Atlas. This section allowed CDPH to publicly display the progress of the indicators for plan goals and for residents to follow.

“This new data set is the first time, to our knowledge that population health has been made available at the Hospital Service Area level. These data will help hospitals in their efforts to better understand the needs of the communities they serve, not just their own patients.”- Erica Salem, MPH, Director of Strategic Health Initiatives, Health & Disability Advocates.

On Thursday, October 12th the  City of Chicago’s Public Health Department celebrated the launch of the new Chicago Health Atlas. The new Atlas was originally previewed during the Health Chicago 2.0 one-year anniversary event in held late May.

To date 174 strategies first identified in the plan or (76%) have been implemented or are in progress. Healthy Chicago 2.0 is guided by four key principles; Healthy Chicago 2.0 prioritizes health equity, Healthy Chicago emphasizes collaboration, Healthy Chicago 2.0 addresses root causes of health and Healthy Chicago 2.0 leverages data.

“The Chicago Health Atlas is a key component of our citywide Healthy Chicago 2.0 strategy. Not only does it provide a direct portal for partners, funders and policy makers to access data, but it pr it in an intuitive interface that allows users to create visualizations in real time. This tool will help groups across the city, from government agencies like ours to neighborhood organizations to make more informed decisions that will lead to better health outcomes for all”.– Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D

What Does the New Atlas Offer?

Today, the new Chicago Health Atlas has increased functionality, including data visualization at the community level, the ability to print and/or download raw data and a link to resources by community and, the Health Atlas also maps over 20,000 community resources through data provided by MAPSCorps, a non-profit organization that delivers hands-on STEM training for youth through neighborhood asset mapping. This partnerships marks the first time MAPSCorps data will be used by the City of Chicago for distribution to the public.

“Information is power and MAPSCorps is committed to providing communities across Chicago with quality information about community assets to support residents’ well-being,” said MAPSCorps Executive Director Andres Alvear.

If You Build It They Will Come

With continued support from the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, development of the new Health Atlas began in the summer of 2016 with the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, the Smart Chicago Collaborative and the development team at Dom and Tom. This team set out to integrate feedback from users, the Healthy Chicago 2.0 data and ease of use for the city’s consumers of health data.

This integrated process was coordinated by the Smart Chicago team; and after hundreds of hours of targeted weekly meetings, countless video conference calls, revising of data templates and intense discussions around quality and quantity of information the Atlas was ready to be tested.

In Spring of 2017 the Smart Chicago Collaborative conducted the first of a series of usability tests for the new Atlas with volunteers from Chicago’s Health and Human Service community.

The feedback from the initial round of user testing was aggregated and used to inform the future design and further development of the Atlas. The fixes, updates and changes are logged and managed in the smartchicago/chicago-atlas GitHub repository. This repository allows the team to address issues quickly and categorizes others for future updates and enhancements. We are encouraging prototypes of health solutions for our region using the Atlas and its data as a tool.

CDPH is currently planning community based user testing opportunities so that  residents can give feedback on the usability of the tool in help inform future enhancements. These community based events will also provide more focused insight into how residents react and interact with the information that is available on the Atlas.

For example, we are equally as interested in what a parent looking for a resource for childcare in their community has to say, and the researchers who may use the Atlas for the development of policy for specific health related issues.

Sprague Executive Director, James N. Alexander says of the Atlas,

“The Chicago Health Atlas emerged from the need of the community’s public health leaders to have better data for their program and policy work. Portraying complex data through maps and charts to assist the broader community in understanding health patterns and empower wellness was seen as the complementary benefit of an on-line Atlas. By inviting all those with health data to contribute to the expansion of The Atlas, The Institute also achieves its mandate to investigate the cause of disease and prevent and relieve human suffering.”- Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute Executive Director, James N. Alexander

Our hope is that you will use this data to both better understand health in Chicago and identify opportunities to improve health and well-being.

The Chicago Health Atlas is, by design, an evolving tool. Through new and continued public-private partnerships, improved data and continuous updates to the site, we will be better equipped to understand and improve our city’s health.

“The Chicago Health Atlas meets our shared goal of making information more transparent and accessible for all residents. Congratulations to the Smart Chicago Collaborative, CDPH and all our partners for not just creating a new and necessary asset for our city, but creating an example for all other cities to follow”.– Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

For more information regarding the Health Atlas or if you have feedback, questions or ideas or are interested in becoming a data partner for the Atlas, please email us at HealthyChicago2.0@cityofchicago.org or Leslie.Durr@UILabs.org. The Smart Chicago Collaborative is now co-located with City Digital at UI LABS at 1415 N. Cherry Ave., Chicago, IL. 60642.

Follow us at: Twitter: @ChiPublicHealth; @smartchicago;  @SmartChiLeslie; @UILABS_

Kyla Williams Co-Presents Today at Philanthropy Ohio’s Annual Conference

Today, Leon Wilson, CIO of the Cleveland Foundation, and I will co-present at the Philanthropy Ohio’s annual conference with a theme this year of “Philanthropy Forward” and a concentrated discussion on Digital Civic Engagement & Community-Centered Design. Philanthropy Forward ’17 is set to inform practices, strategies and goals and connect peers in the field of philanthropy. The conference will also focus on the future of philanthropy with insight into the current state of the sector – fueled by recent research – addressing transitions, change and the leadership pipeline. With several networking and roundtable discussions, attendees will discover how to shift failures to successes, effectively fund advocacy and civic engagement and hear from  exceptional leaders across the state and country.

Leon and I also presented in April 2017 at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference “Leading Together” as part of a panel discussion with: Aaron Deacon, Managing Director, Kansas City Digital Drive; Elizabeth Reynoso, Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation, Living Cities; and Lilly Weinberg, Program Director/Community Foundations, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation on “Supporting Civic Engagement through Technology and Community-Centered Design”. After finishing that presentation we decided more collaborative sharing between cities was necessary and lead to this opportunity at Philanthropy Ohio.

Community building in the digital era requires providing a space for the public sector and local communities to interact. Building solutions with peoplenot just for them – by using community-centered design can have profound social impact. This has been central to Smart Chicago’s work and has lead to the building of processes, products, services, and other lightweight tech solutions that have been helpful.

Our presentation today has the learning objectives:

  • To introduce different models developed in communities to address civic engagement digitally
  • To encourage the consideration of embedding support for digital civic engagement into existing grantmaking & advancement efforts

You can follow the happenings of the conference on Twitter @PhilanthropyOH and @SmartChgoKyla or by using the hashtag #PhilFWD17.

SMART CHICAGO IS MOVING!!!

Good News!!! The Smart Chicago team is moving and now will be co-located with the City Digital Team at UI Labs. As such, our individual emails will be changing to:

Kyla Williams           kyla.williams@uilabs.org

Sonja Marziano       sonja.marziano@uilabs.org

Denise Linn               denise.riedl@uilabs.org

Leslie Durr                 leslie.durr@uilabs.org

Our new mailing address is 1415 N. Cherry Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 and general phone number is 312.281.6900.

Please check our website at www.smartchicagocollaborative.org or follow us on twitter @smartchicago for more updates.

We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

Health Insecurities: Does Data Show Improvement?

Is There A Backwards Slide?

In a June 2016 GALLUP article  by Jeffrey M. Jones and Nader Nekvasil it was reported that U.S. Healthcare Insecurity was at a  record low as “fewer Americans reported not having enough money to pay for necessary healthcare and/or medicine.”

These findings are based on interviews conducted daily from January 2008 through March 2016 as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Gallup and Healthways classify Americans as healthcare insecure if they report being unable to pay for healthcare and/or medicines they or their family needed at some point in the past 12 months.

Overall, the percentage of U.S. adults with healthcare insecurity has dropped 3.5 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013. This drop in healthcare insecurity coincides with the decline in the percentage of uninsured Americans, which has fallen from 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013 — just before the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Americans have health insurance went into effect — to 11.0% in the first quarter of this year.

The increase in the percentage of Americans having health insurance is likely a key reason why fewer Americans are struggling to pay for healthcare. Generally, those without health insurance are at least three times more likely to report not having enough money for healthcare/medicine than their counterparts with health insurance. In the most recent quarter, 41.8% of the uninsured said they had struggled to pay for healthcare costs, compared with 12.3% of those with insurance.

As a certified ACA In-Person Counselor it is quite frightening to consider the cost in lives that an ill-advised, ill-conceived repeal of the Affordable Care Act will cost. This gives me great pause and concern about how the most vulnerable populations will survive.  I worked with hundreds of families between 2014-2015 in Illinois who were able to gain and afford coverage under the provisions of the ACA. Families that otherwise who would have not received emergency and necessary care, including surgeries that saved lives. These changes will not only affect the Black and Brown communities, they will impact all impoverished communities. The buzz words being offered are “everyone will access to healthcare” well you can have “access” to a multitude of services in a free country. However, if you can’t afford them is it really accessible.

As reported in CRAINS Chicago Business, in Illinois, more than 1 million people gained insurance under the ACA, and, of those, 650,000 qualified under a Medicaid expansion that House Republicans appear keen to let bleed. Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office project that the ranks of the uninsured would double by 2026, which would mean a step back into the time warp of too many people delaying treatment and then landing in emergency rooms after their problems are critical. For taxpayers, it’s much cheaper to keep tabs on a diabetic than it is to pay for kidney dialysis or limb amputations—two very real outcomes when the disease goes untreated.

What Do We Stand To Lose?

While Medicaid expansion, minimal essential coverage, zero lifetime maximums and free preventative services are on the table to be repealed, another provision of the ACA is the requirement for hospitals to conduct “community health needs assessments” to justify the tax exemptions they receive for providing “charity care”. These community health needs assessments uncovered and confirmed what may sociologists and human service professionals already new. There are other social determinants to health. Health is holistic and includes more than a patient’s medical history. These social determinants include but are not limited to:

  • Access to healthy food (Food Deserts)
  • Susceptibility to violence (Domestic and Community)
  • Housing Insecurities
  • Unemployment
  • Access to transportation
  • Behavioral Health

Many hospitals as a result of the CHNAs developed or grew programs to address these problems in their communities. “These plans will improve population health, reduce costs and result in better quality care. Furthermore, these plans provide new opportunities for hospitals to invest in upstream interventions– working to make policy, systems and environment improvements that will impact the communities in which they serve.”-Bechara Choucair, M.D, Former Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health

“If the ranks of the uninsured or underinsured grow, then charity care will increase. And the ability to do some of these more creative efforts will be hampered.” said -Joan Quinlan VP for Community Health Massachusetts General

Tools We Can Use

The Chicago Department of Public Health will be deploying an updated version of the Chicago Health Atlas which will include the findings, strategies and implementation plan from Healthy Chicago 2.0.  Data from this collaboration is being used to identify and address 10 priority areas to focus community health improvement efforts on over the next 4 years. These priority areas include both health outcomes and social determinants of health, as well as public health infrastructure elements like partnerships and data.

The Chicago Health Atlas is a resident facing Web site for displaying aggregate health-related information on a map so that people can see the prevalence of specific health conditions in their area and find out how they can improve their health and get  information about health care provider options in their communities.

What Now: After The Vote?

So, what now? What next? This is a small victory, a reprieve if you will. This will undoubtedly rear it’s head again before this Presidency ends. We must continue to “Listen.”  Listen to the stories of the residents and Americans whose lives and health was positively impacted by their ability to obtain health care either through the Marketplace or through expanded Medicaid coverage. We listen to the lawmakers from our state and follow their comments and votes on the measure which will change the lives of many Chicagoans. We listen to seek to understand  the elements that do need to be changed; and change them for the good. This is not a partisan issue. Everyone in Illinois who is concerned about the well-being of our fellow citizens should be concerned about the impact of this process on our city and our state.

 

 

Chicago Health Atlas Updates

Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) added a new data set to the Chicago Health Atlas. Demographic and population health data is now available by Hospital Service Area. HDA and CDPH co-conven the Healthy Chicago Hospital Collaborative one of the largest hospital collaborations in the United States. The Collaborative strives for health improvement across Chicago making Access to Care, Mental Health, and Obesity top priorities.

 “This new data set is the first time, to our knowledge that population health has been made available at the Hospital Service Area level. These data will help hospitals in their efforts to better understand the needs of the communities they serve, not just their own patients.”- Erica Salem, MPH, Director of Strategic Health Initiatives, Health & Disability Advocates.

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The addition of this data is the initial phase of a re-visioning of the Chicago Health Atlas.

“We expect to launch new, robust and vibrant Chicago Health Atlas by Spring 2017. The Chicago Health Atlas will not lose any of it’s functionality and will continue to be of value to the users who look to the Atlas for data. It will be more interactive.”- Kyla Williams, Interim Executive Director, Smart Chicago Collaborative.

The Chicago Health Atlas continues to be the place where you can go to view citywide information about health trends and take action to improve your own health with support by the Ortho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute.

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Durr Joins Smart Chicago as Project Coordinator

Leslie DurrLeslie Durr  joins the Smart Chicago Collaborative as a Project Coordinator.She will serve as the point person for projects including Chicago Health Atlas, Smart Health Centers, Foodborne, Hive Learning Networks and Youth-Led Tech. She will also be working to add several new projects to our portfolio.

Her experience includes program development and grant management in the non-profit sector, most recently with the Southland Health Care Forum as the Project Director for the State of Illinois Get Covered Campaign.

Leslie has her Master of Science in Human Service Administration from Spertus College and Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Jackson State University.

You can follow her work on Twitter.

Please join us in welcoming Leslie Durr.