Innovative Applications of SDOH Data at the Local Level

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Summary of Presentation:


What is the culture of health? It’s a vision that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed a little over five years ago to help impact health, wellbeing, and equity in the United States.  The Culture of Health is making health a shared value for everyone and fostering cross sector collaboration to improve health and wellbeing. It aims to create healthier and more equitable communities, for everyone that lives in the US and strengthen the integration of health systems. 


This presentation will discuss three projects and how they’re interrelated. This includes 500 Cities, the City Health Dashboard, and the U.S. Small Area Life Expectancy Estimates. For 500 Cities, RWJF went to the city level of 500 of the largest American cities and drilled down to the census tract. For all three of these projects, it’s critical to have data available at the census tract. This data is already available through BRFSS data collection and through small areas estimation methods. The data was calculated, and there’s 27 indicators that are available at that small of a geography. And it’s really about behavioral risk factors and health outcomes. 


The second project is City Health Dashboard. This ran as a pilot project with the 500 Cities project and involved four places in the US where RWJF asked individuals: What is your need? What kind of social determinants of health data do you need? That project was then fully launched into the City Health Dashboard with New York University. It incorporates data from the 500 Cities and has additional data that’s available through a variety of other sources, including crime data from the FBI, data from the EPA, USDA, and more for those 500 cities. 


RWJF also responded to requests for a nationwide measure that’s available at a very small geographic level, ideally the census tract RWJF partnered to create life expectancy estimates at the census tract level for all of the US, which were released earlier this year and are available for use. The Foundation selected life expectancy as a measure because it’s something that is not very sector specific. It’s fairly easily understandable and would be beneficial for many to have.


Disclaimer: This is not all of the data work taking place at the Foundation, but it is some of the work that the presenter has been involved in. 


About The Presenter

A picture of Oktawia WójcikOktawia Wójcik is the Senior Program Officer at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a distinguished epidemiologist, her work at RWJF focuses on driving demand for healthy places and practices and building a Culture of Health through research that informs both grantmaking and broader health-related policy and practice. Previously, Wójcik was a Research Fellow and Project Manager of Flu Near You, a participatory surveillance system at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She also was a European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) fellow in Copenhagen, Denmark, a position sponsored by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. She held other research positions at the New York University School of Medicine, the University of California – Santa Barbara, and Drew University. Wójcik holds a PhD at New York University and a BA at Drew University.