HRSA Grant Update
As was announced at the June General Membership meeting, the Ozarks Wellness Network (OWN it) & the Taney County Health Department in collaboration with Christian Action Ministries (CAM), the Stone County Health Department and CoxHealth, was awarded a HRSA planning grant that will allow us to implement a community health indicator dashboard to inform our work.
Here is an update on the data dashboard project from Karen:
- 10 partners identified, interviewed and plugged in to Missouri CARES, for purposes of planning the dashboard
- 6 more partners have been identified in Stone County that will be interviewed and plugged in the first part of December
A little education about the benefits of a dashboard in plain English, and why anyone would want one:
Why develop a data dashboard, and who benefits from it?
You’re probably aware by now that the Taney County Health Department, Stone County Health Department, Cox Medical Center Branson and Christian Action Ministries are working together - along with many other partners - to develop a data dashboard. This dashboard will be an online center that will house information about the health and healthcare status of our two-county area. In a nutshell, the dashboard will be a tool that will tell us how our community is doing in 12 categories that affect our health, where there are gaps that need to be fixed, and who is currently working on what project.
What the dashboard will NOT do is tell our area agencies how to do their jobs, or misuse sensitive, protected information.
You’ve heard the expression, “two heads are better than one”? That’s the idea behind providing an easily accessible dashboard of data. For example, we know lack of economic stability affects access to healthcare services. Agency A establishes a goal to increase healthcare services available to uninsured patients. Agency B wants to increase dental services to the uninsured. Somewhat different goals, however, both agencies want to reach the uninsured. Using a data dashboard specific to their areas, both agencies could learn how many uninsured there are in their zip code areas; find out if there are barriers in those areas - such as lack of transportation - that will determine the type of service the agencies should provide; see if there are others working on similar projects and their outcomes; and may even discover that there is an overlap in the patients they want to serve, making working together preferable.
Working together, Agency A and Agency B are able to share resources, and serve even more patients than they could on their own.
And that’s basically what a rural health network does. It allows partners within the network to share resources, improving services for all in their area.