We rolled out our new public health information system … called Arizona Health Matters http://www.arizonahealthmatters.org/. It’s an electronic one stop source of unbiased data and information about community health and healthy communities in general. It’s intended to help planners, policy makers, and community members learn about issues and identify improvements. On the site, you can compare Arizona’s health with other communities and the nation, using more than 100 health and quality of life indicators ; search and compare data by County and zip code within Arizona; learn about promising practices on a variety of topics that affect community health; submit a promising practice ; or use the Report Assistant to create quick reports and summaries.
This site has been in the planning stages for the last couple of years and is funded with federal grants that we and the county health departments receive. We think the site has a large potential to influence policy by providing key and easily digestible data on everything from physical activity to nutrition to infectious diseases etc. Using these indicators, people in decision making positions at all levels can develop and implement interventions. It’s also includes promising practices that are updated weekly that allow officials and the public to see what works. It’s also updated to keep current with local and national news related to public health issues.