Incorporating Disparities into State Strategies to Monitor and Improve Health Status

The researchers examined state capacity to develop the 10 leading indicators defined in Healthy People 2010 overall and by geographic group. In particular, they studied: 1) the strengths and weaknesses of data available within states to adequately assess the health of a population that includes diverse groups; and 2) the organizational, political, and other forces that promote or impede use of such data to intervene in ways that improve the health of the state’s population. The three part study includes: 1) an inventory of state practices with respect to available data on leading indicators; 2) case studies of four states to learn about how the indicators and disparities in the indicators across subgroups are viewed in developing initiatives to improve public health; and 3) a dissemination plan for translating information in ways that would be useful to diverse audiences. The objective of this project was to further the vision articulated in HealthyPeople 2010, setting health goals that explicitly link overall improvements in public health to reduced disparities in health status across diverse subgroups of the population.