The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) has been a leader in the development and implementation of the Environmental Public Health Tracking (Tracking) network from its inception in October 2002. With CDC funding, the Missouri Tracking program developed and implemented a web-based data query system with both public and secure components. In addition, we have developed interactive risk assessment tools and storymaps in several content areas to highlight or supplement data and information provided in the data query system.
Missouri Tracking endeavors to continually improve environmental health data and information awareness and accessibility and expand their use to drive public health actions and policy development. The purpose of this project is to build a modernized and interoperable public health information management system that provides more timely environmental health data and information at the smallest practical geography for public health evidence-based decision-making and focused policy development. In this grant period, in an effort to improve and expand the impact of the Tracking network on public health, Missouri Tracking seeks to:
1. Build capacity in data sharing, analysis, visualization, and dissemination.
2. Further standardize and automate data and data sharing processes; modernize our portal infrastructure; and develop and share additional tools for improved data availability, accessibility, and visualization.
3. Improve our capacity and the capacity of our partners and stakeholders to generate and communicate accurate and timely environmental health data and information for evidence-based decision-making and focused policy development.
The Missouri Tracking team is an established, cohesive, and productive unit with decades of experience in environmental and public health, epidemiology, information technology, data integration, and data analysis. We maintain and develop many excellent partnerships and collaborative relationships with multidisciplinary teams and environmental, health, and stakeholder agencies in an effort to address local, state, and national environmental health issues. Over the project period, we will lead and collaborate with our partners on a wide range of surveillance, information technology, outreach, program capacity-building, and program evaluation activities to achieve the following outcomes:
1. Increase data monitoring of environmental health topics; improve completeness, timeliness, and quality of environmental public health surveillance data; and increase surveillance of environmental health disparities.
2. Improve information technology tools and systems.
3. Increase stakeholder inclusion in data sharing, communication, and response, and increase collaboration with stakeholders to reduce health disparities.
4. Increase dissemination of environmental health information using communication best practices to appropriate audiences.
5. Increase knowledge and ability among the Missouri Tracking workforce, and increase our capacity to provide technical assistance to advance environmental public health interventions.
6. Improve completeness, timeliness, and quality of evaluation data.
7. Increase the use of public health data among public health practitioners and environmental professionals to develop and deliver informed programs, prioritized interventions, and policies to address environmental public health issues.
8. Improve identification, monitoring, and addressing of health disparities.
9. Reduce environmental exposures and related health effects and environmental health disparities.