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The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Reforming Illinois’ Public Health Data Systems

Public health and medical data are essential for measuring progress in reducing health inequities and improving the nation’s health.  On Friday, March 4, 2016 at Loyola University Chicago, Health & Medicine held a meeting of the Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy to discuss "Reforming Illinois Public Health Data Systems." The forum will gathered public health experts, researchers, and advocates to explore such questions as:
  • How can Illinois build a stronger data system to make public health data collection, analysis, and dissemination practices more timely and useful for advocates and researchers?
  • What opportunities and barriers exist to utilize electronic health record data along with other public health data sets?  What is the status of health information exchanges in Illinois?
  • How can public health data be used both for policy advocacy efforts and to help meet the triple aim?
The event will explored issues that are not currently being adequately addressed and how Illinois can better use data to make progress on health inequities. Panelists also discussed the barriers—legal, regulatory, and others—to collecting, sharing, and disseminating data, as well as ideas for reforming our health data systems. Video from the forum is available below.

Forum Speakers, Presentations, and Resources:
  • Mary Driscoll, Moderator
  • Nirav Shah, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health


  • Laura Zaremba, Principal, Trexin Consulting - View the presentation here


  • Nikhil Prachand, Director of Epidemiology, Chicago Department of Public Health - View the presentation here


  • Janine Hill, Executive Director, EverThrive Illinois - View the presentation here


  • Amy Terpstra, Director of Research, Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center - View the presentation here; you may also view the report Ms. Terpstra referenced in her presentation, "Racism's Toll: Report on Illinois Poverty," here.


About The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy:
Each policy forum in The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy series will focus on health reform efforts both in Illinois and in the Chicago area, including discussions of best practices from around the country. Click here to learn about our last Chicago Forum event, Challenges to the Healthcare Safety Net in a Reforming Healthcare Environment.