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Schroeder Center Convenes Community Health Data Workshop

The Schroeder Center for Health Policy convened a Community Health Data Workshop for local health and human services providers on Friday, October 26, 2012 at the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation.

The workshop provided an opportunity for representatives from local safety net providers of healthcare and other human services in the Historic Triangle to meet and to discuss challenges they face when it comes to sharing and using data effectively. More than 15 organizations were represented at the workshop including Avalon, Gloucester-Matthews Free Clinic, Child Development Resources, and the United Way of Greater Williamsburg, among others. There were also some new Historic Triangle community members in the room including Amy Lazev, the new School Health Initiative Program Coordinator for Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools and Steve Smith, the new Executive Director of Olde Towne Medical Center.

Participants commented on the need to build bridges between organizations focused on clinical care and organizations focused on prevention.  They further commented on the potential for additional data sharing and collaboration to improve community health. For example, participants noted that clinical care data might be useful for non-clinical human services providers, and that information on poverty assistance and prevention programs might be useful to clinical care providers. These types of data sharing could help health and human services providers address the various risks that pose threats to population and individual health. 

The workshop concluded with a discussion on the desirability of creating a Community Health Profile or Community Health Report Card using existing data from sources like the Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health and data collected by local health and human services providers.

Faculty and staff from the Schroeder Center for Health Policy at the College of William & Mary (Jennifer Mellor, Scott Ickes, and Elizabeth Vestal) convened the workshop which was conducted with support from a grant from the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation.