Chronic diseases and conditions are among the most common and preventable of all health problems. About half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions, and one in four has two or more. These chronic health problems account for the majority of U.S. health care and economic costs and also account for the majority of the leading causes of death in the United States. State and local governments rely on surveillance data to monitor the prevalence of health risk behaviors that are associated with these chronic health problems, as well as with preventable injuries. This type of surveillance data provides the information that public health practitioners and decision-makers need to inform public health actions aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic diseases, injuries, and associated health risk behaviors.
Public Health in Oregon is evidence-based and data-driven. Oregon’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the primary source of risk factor and disease information among Oregon’s adult population and collects data on the health risk behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries in the adult population. Collaboration helps assure coordination of BRFSS data analysis and reporting issues, such as local level reporting, assessing trends, targeting relevant population groups, addressing emerging public health issues, and coordination of efforts with local organizations and other partners in health promotion and disease prevention. Coordinated communication efforts to help organizations understand the value of data in driving policy change is another benefit.
The purpose of this program is to help Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division (PHD) conduct effective health monitoring, priority setting, program and policy planning and evaluation by the continued collection and increased use of surveillance data to inform public health actions to improve the health of Oregonians. OHA will implement strategies to:
• Increase access to high quality and timelier BRFSS data for analysis by organizations
• Ensure BRFSS data continue to be used by public health organizations to identify health risk behaviors and the health status of populations
Oregon’s BRFSS is a telephone (landline and cell phone) health survey that targets non-institutionalized adults to obtain data that OHA programs, local county health departments, and other partners and agencies can use to inform public health policies and actions. Achieving these short- and mid-term outcomes will contribute beyond the three-year project period to achieve the following long-term outcomes for Oregon’s BRFSS:
• Develop partnerships to improve the health of Oregonians by engaging individuals, organizations and communities in prevention and health promotion.
• Increase the use of data to inform the development and implementation of public health programs and policies;
• Reduce the incidence and prevalence of preventable diseases;
• Reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic diseases, injury, and adverse health risk behaviors; and
• Reduce health disparities among Oregon populations, vulnerable communities and communities of color.