New website breaks down Missouri health data by zip code

7 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, April 09 2018 Apr 9, 2018 Monday, April 09, 2018 6:48:00 PM CDT April 09, 2018 in News
By: Wesley Weglarek, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MISSOURI - A new Missouri health data website can tell you the top and bottom ranked zip codes in a county, as well as top mental and social factors.

Missouri Foundation for Health and Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) in partnership with University of Missouri Extension created the multi-million dollar project that launched early April.

The goal of ExploreMoHealth.org is to help Missouri doctors and health care providers better understand data of local neighborhoods to help invest money and resources.

Dave Dillon, spokesperson for MHA says, there are other websites like this, but this project is the first to break health data down by zip code.

"There's national-level data, state-level data and county-level data that have historically been available," said Dillon. "The backbone of the zip code-level research is built under an algorithm that we put together that takes those census data, those hospital data and the county-level data and can push that data to the zip code-level."

The biggest health factors in Boone County, according to the website, are depressive disorder, asthma, cancer, diabetes and COPD.

"The ExploreMoHealth website is another tool that we can use for looking at the health of our county," said Eric Stann, community relations specialist for Boone County Department of Public Health.

Dillon says the website will not only help doctors and health care providers, but also local government leaders on how to allocate money.

"Interestingly, because of the census data and the demographic data in many communities that have fairly poor health behaviors and health outcomes, you'll find it isn't access to healthcare, that is truly the problem." said Dillon. "It may be access to fresh foods, or it may be access to a place to exercise."

Dillon says government officials can analyze this data and tackle issues like infrastructure or new parks for people to exercise.

For more information about the website, you can visit ExploreMoHealth.org, or the Missouri Hospital Association's website. 

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