If you browse this website, one of the things you’re certain to see is data. Lots of data. You’ll not only see how many cases of influenza have been reported, but how many in each county. We even have the number of babies born each year (about 80,000).
Like everything else we do at ADHS, the data we collect and share is for your health.
A Data Advisory Committee launched this year helps us ensure that health professionals in communities across Arizona not only have the data they need to improve public health but have it in a way they can use most effectively. It involves dozens of organizations, including nonprofits, health care organizations, health plans, tribal nations, local health departments, and universities.
Arizona has a rich and diverse culture with unique communities, populations, and geography, and the committee allows ADHS to hear from stakeholders as it works to embed equity into its data practices. The idea is to increase health equity, so that no matter where you are in Arizona you have access to the best possible care, informed by data.
Community stakeholders around the state identified the need for the Data Advisory Committee during our preparation for the 2021-25 Arizona Health Improvement Plan. The AzHIP Health Equity Action Plan focuses on how health equity can be infused in all parts of the health system, with a focus on data infrastructure, capacity, and sharing; enhanced community partnership and engagement; and policy, system, and environmental changes.
Here are the main projects that the committee is engaged in with ADHS:
Promote the use of community-based participatory research: This approach centers partnership with community members throughout all phases of the research process. It gives organizations the tools they need to collect data from their communities to address the social determinants of health and expand the development of small-area and community-owned datasets. ADHS is working with partners to develop a public training curriculum to support more community-engaged research statewide.
Adapt the Social Vulnerability Index to better reflect the needs of Arizona communities: To provide communities and organizations actionable data to address health disparities, ADHS will adapt this index to include Arizona-specific data indicators.
Complete a data equity gap assessment: ADHS will identify gaps in the collection of social determinants of health and demographic data in state public health data sets, and encourage the collection of this data to be better positioned to address health disparities.
The long-term goal is using data that ADHS and our partners collect to improve public health in communities across Arizona. With so many diverse partners at the table, we’re working to improve health and wellness for all Arizonans.
You can learn more about these and other initiatives of the ADHS Office of Health Equity at azhealth.gov/HealthEquity.