City-Level Measures of Health, Health Determinants, and Equity to Foster Population Health Improvement: The City Health Dashboard

Nov. 24, 2018

Marc N. Gourevitch MD, MPH, Jessica K. Athens PhD, Shoshanna E. Levine DrPH, Neil Kleiman PhD, and Lorna E. Thorpe PhD

American Journal of Public Health

Objectives. To support efforts to improve urban population health, we created a City Health Dashboard with area-specific data on health status, determinants of health, and equity at city and subcity (census tract) levels.

Methods. We developed a Web-based resource that includes 37 metrics across 5 domains: social and economic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, health outcomes, and clinical care. For the largest 500 US cities, the Dashboard presents metrics calculated to the city level and, where possible, subcity level from multiple data sources, including national health surveys, vital statistics, federal administrative data, and state education data sets.

Results. Iterative input from city partners shaped Dashboard development, ensuring that measures can be compared across user-selected cities and linked to evidence-based policies to spur action. Reports from early deployment indicate that the Dashboard fills an important need for city- and subcity-level data, fostering more granular understanding of health and its drivers and supporting associated priority-setting.

Conclusions. By providing accessible city-level data on health and its determinants, the City Health Dashboard complements local surveillance efforts and supports urban population health improvement on a national scale.

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