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About CHSI 2015

CHSI 2015 Overview

Promoting healthier communities is greatly enhanced by information on the health status of the population and information on a range of modifiable factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes. The Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) 2015 is an online web application that produces health status profiles for each of the 3,143 counties in the United States and the District of Columbia. Each county profile contains indicators of health outcomes (mortality and morbidity); indicators on factors selected based on evidence that they potentially have an important influence on population health status (e.g., health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and physical environment); health outcome indicators stratified by subpopulations (e.g., race and ethnicity); important demographic characteristics; and HP 2020 targets.

A key feature of CHSI 2015 is the ability for users to compare the value of each indicator with those of demographically similar “peer counties,” as well as to the United States as a whole, and to HP 2020 targets.

Note: Counties are defined as “the primary legal divisions of most states regardless of whether they are known as parishes, boroughs, census areas or cities” and identified by 5-digit Federal Information Processing Series codes. Legal divisions of U.S. territories and a few small areas are excluded.

CHSI 2015 Goals

Improve the ability of stakeholders to:

1) Assess community health status and identify disparities;

2) Promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that are associated with health; and

3) Mobilize multi-sector partnerships to work collaboratively to improve population health.

CHSI 2015 Stakeholders

  • Organizations engaged in community health assessment and improvement
  • Community members
  • Policy makers
  • Public and private sector organizations that share responsibility for creating healthy communities (e.g., education, transportation, social services, and the business sector)

CHSI Background

The earliest version of CHSI was released in hard copy format in 2000 by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation (PHF), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The primary purpose of the CHSI 2000 report was to assist public health professionals and community planners with identifying priorities and targeting resources to improve community-level population health.

A steering committee, which included HRSA, PHF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and faculty from Johns Hopkins University, guided the conversion of CHSI to an interactive online format that was released in 2008 and re-released with updated data in 2009. Responsibility for CHSI was transferred from HRSA to CDC in August of 2012.

CHSI Redesign

Consistent with earlier versions, a customer driven, transparent process was used to design CHSI 2015 with ongoing and ad hoc input from many partners, stakeholders, and subject matter experts. As a result of the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary input, CHSI 2015 includes the following enhanced features:

  • Updated peer county groups.
  • New and updated indicators.
  • Summary comparison page.
  • Health outcome and health associated factors indicators benchmarked against those of peer counties, median of all U.S. counties, and HP 2020 targets, where applicable;
  • Census tract data and indicators for sub-populations (e.g., age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity) to identify potential health disparities, where available.

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