A new one-stop online source for population-based data and information about community health and the social and environmental determinants of health was launched today by County officials. The website-http://www.healthymontgomery.org —provides data and information on more than 90 topics related to the health and well being of the community and its residents. Data on the website will assist County policy makers and partners in identifying key priority areas and will help guide decisions about strategies to meet various needs.
“The Healthy Montgomery website is the data pillar of our new community health improvement process,” said County Councilmember George Leventhal, chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee and co-chair of the Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee. “The steering committee is comprised of leaders from across the community. Our ultimate goal is to improve access to health and social services for all residents, to achieve health equity for all and to enhance the physical and social environment to support optimal health and well-being for all.”
“Having reliable data on which to base our budget decisions on is critical, especially in these lean budget years,” said Uma Ahluwalia, director of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. “In addition, this website will be a great resource for students, health planners and the public.”
Facts from the site include:
• It costs nearly $70,000 for a family of three to live in Montgomery County without receiving any public subsidy for child care, food, housing or transportation.
• One in every 10 teens in Montgomery County has experienced depression in the past year
• Only one-third of the adult population in Montgomery County engages in regular moderate physical activity
• One out of every three residents speaks a language other than English at home
In June 2008, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council sponsored a meeting that brought together organizations in the County that provide services to improve the health and well-being of Montgomery County residents. Attendees assessed how well 10 essential public health functions are carried out in the County. A consistent finding was the need for all organizations to have valid, reliable and user-friendly data related to health and the social determinants of health.
The Healthy Montgomery website was funded by the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefits Program. Funding for the Healthy Montgomery community health improvement process was provided by the five Montgomery County hospitals and the County. The website was created by the Healthy Communities Institute, a California-based company that has developed web-based technology to bring health and socioeconomic data together to improve the health and well being of communities across the United States.
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