Minnesota getting federal money for health tracking Web sitesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota will get federal money to track public health, and to create an environmental health Web site.
The state will get $875,000 in each of the next five years to integrate its health monitoring programs and to create a public Web site.
The Minnesota Department of Health has been using state money to track asthma, heart disease, cancer, and other health problem. Now Minnesota will join a nation-wide tracking network that will include interactive Web sites for each of 22 states.
Jean Johnson, director of the state tracking program, said the Web site will be useful for the general public, for policy-makers and for her own department -- to evaluate different intervention programs, for example.
"If we're measuring something and we're trying to intervene to change that parameter, we ought to be able to see changes in those measures," Johnson said.
Johnson said the Web site will provide detailed statistics on several health issues. "We have eight different content areas; one of them is asthma hospitalizations," she said. "You could go in and select your county, get data about how many asthma hospitalizations have occurred in your specific county in a certain time period."
None of the data is traceable to individuals.