Networked for Action

Testing a web-based data portal to move from community health assessment to interventions in Eau Claire County

Full Project Name:Networked for Action: Eau Claire County health data web-portal for community changePrimary Community Organization:United Way of the Greater Chippewa ValleyPrimary Academic Partner:Terry Brandenburg, MPH, CPH, MPA, MBA, Institute for Health and EquityAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
January2014
Project Duration:30 months

Project Description Narrative:


Community health assessments are an important precursor to developing a community health improvement plan aimed at improving the health status of a community. Wisconsin requires local public health departments to conduct a comprehensive community health assessment in their jurisdiction and use that information to develop a community health improvement plan in partnership with community stakeholders. With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, not-for-profit hospitals are also now required to conduct periodic community health assessments and community health improvement plans. However, independent action by government health agencies and not-for-profit hospitals to comply with these requirements can lead to costly duplication of efforts, potentially conflicting priorities, and uncoordinated community action. In addition, all entities face the challenge of moving from the identification of health problems to true action to improve health.

This project will test an innovative method — a web-based data portal — to not just serve as a static resource, but as a tool to move community health assessment to real individual, community, and system interventions that impact population health status.

Community partners:
Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Marshfield Clinic – Eau Claire Center, Mayo Clinic Health System, Sacred Heart Hospital, United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley

Additional MCW academic partners:
David Nelson, PhD, Family and Community Medicine; Amy Kistner, MS, Family and Community Medicine; Elaine Drew, PhD, Family and Community Medicine

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Conducted focus groups and key informant interviews, using results to inform a Community Health Data Summit

• Surveyed policymakers and media who participated in the community health data conversations about use of the website, using results to create a tracking tool to monitor media and policy decisions using population health data

• Developed a toolkit for others to use and replicate the process in their communities, including information on engaging the local community, gathering information, interpreting the data and evaluation of the process

• Sustained commitment from the partners who have been funding the Network of Care website to continue funding the site as well as web analytics to track usage

• Presented project at various association meeting such as Wisconsin Public Health Association Annual Meeting and American Public Health Association Conference

• Published articles in the Senior Review paper, the Wisconsin Public Health Association Communique Newsletter and the NACCHO Voice

• Leveraged results of project to develop, propose, and receive a $250,000 award from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment to continue to work together as a partnership on a new project

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