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Data Day: Inter-agency collaboration allows data to be shared across different sectors.

Challenge

  • Many sectors outside of public health make decisions that impact the health of the public. Data is crucial to informing many of these decisions. 
  • Decisions that impact physical activity opportunities can be informed through the understanding and use of cross-sector data sources.

Solution

The Healthy Environments Collaborative (HEC) is a partnership between the NC Departments of Commerce, Natural and Cultural Resources (previously the NC Departments of Environment and Natural Resources), Health and Human Services (Division of Public Health) and Transportation. A goal of the HEC is to determine common performance measures for project prioritization to maximize economic development and health. In October 2014, the HEC partners held Data Day 2.0, it was the second in a series of meetings designed to:

  • Increase participants’ familiarity with data collected and/or used by other agencies.
  • Discuss the possibilities for overlaying data sets from different agencies.
  • Define next steps for determining common performance measures.

Results

Twenty-nine participants representing the four partner agencies attended the three-hour meeting. The agenda included an overview of Data Day 1.0 that was held in September 2012, and each agency provided an overview of the data sets they use that pertain to aspects of the built environment that supports physical activity, e.g., trails, greenways, parks, and how the data can be accessed by partners.

The Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch worked with the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics to combine parks and trails data from NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, greenway and bike path data from NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT) and state historical site data from NC Department of Cultural Resources to develop estimates of the amount of trails, greenway and open space available for NC residents to engage in physical activity, as well as, the proximity of these opportunities for physical activity to low-income census tracts.

 


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