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Social Science Research Council to Develop New Interactive Site for NYC Metro Area Health Data

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC)’s Measure of America (MOA) program will develop DATA2GO: Health, a data visualization and mapping tool, with funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The site will be a powerful tool in the efforts of city government, nonprofit social service organizations, community and religious groups, educational and health care institutions, and individuals to more effectively address the striking disparities in the health of New Yorkers of all ages, across all five boroughs. It will be modeled after and linked to Measure of America’s DATA2GO.NYC data visualization website, launched in October 2015 with the aim of offering a centralized, easy-to-use tool combining federal, state, and local data for over 300 indicators.

DATA2GO: Health will offer granular data on a range of health-related issues in New York City, including mortality, rates of chronic and mental illness, and healthcare access and quality. Users will be able to pinpoint and compare specific neighborhoods to identify communities facing the greatest challenges. By linking need, resources, and outcomes, the tool will empower policymakers, service-providers, and the public to craft and advocate informed solutions and track progress over time.

The tool will be unique in allowing users to combine health-related data with the extensive resources available on DATA2GO.NYC to illustrate how a variety of factors, not only access to medical care, can impact health in a community. It will be easy for non-experts to use, but also have features designed for researchers.

According to Measure of America co-directors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, the new project advances Measure of America’s wider goal of mobilizing data to promote well-being and opportunity in America. “Along with education and living standards, health is a key measure of quality of life. Improving health outcomes and addressing disparities is good for all of us,” said Lewis. Burd-Sharps added, “We hope DATA2GO: Health will inspire targeted, evidence-based policies and initiatives to improve the lives of New Yorkers.”

The project is a natural fit with the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s overall mission: “In a city filled with data, we are excited to help make previously undiscovered health information accessible to so many in one central place,” said Stephanie Cuskley, CEO of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “Our hope is that, by seeing how different data points correlate, we can all better focus our efforts on improving health and well-being throughout New York City.”

Development of DATA2GO: Health will begin this month. Visit measureofamerica.org to stay updated on progress and learn about other projects, including DATA2GO.NYC. In the future, MOA hopes to extend this framework to provide easy-to-use health-related data to other cities.