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CHSA: Chicago, IL Vignette

Community Health Status Assessment 

The Chicago Health Profile was compiled largely by staff with the Chicago Partnership to determine which elements would be included. During a 1999 partnership meeting, members were presented with a preliminary list of data elements that might be included in the profile. They made additions to the list and questioned the need for some of the data elements.

Agreed-upon elements fell into five categories:

  1. Demographic and socioeconomic indicators;
  2. Health status indicators;
  3. Health perceptions and health-related behaviors;
  4. Social and environmental factors; and
  5. Healthcare delivery and access to care.

A variety of data sources were used to obtain information in the above areas. These included the U.S. Census, vital records and reportable diseases (maintained by the Public Health Department); hospital discharge data; adult and youth behavior risk factor surveys; violent crimes from the police department; and a recently completed broad-scale survey of Chicagoans.

Once the data were collected, staff drafted a 37-page narrative report (with data tables attached) and distributed it at the partnership's next meeting for review and future discussion. Members were asked to contact staff over the next two months with any recommended changes. Staff then synthesized the profile's findings into a seven-page summary and presented this information at the partnership's September 1999 meeting.

Among the key findings:

  • Significant health status disparities exist by race/ethnicity and by gender.
  • The city experienced a 12 percent decrease in available jobs from 1992 to 1997, and the past two years have seen a slow growth in new jobs.
  • Mortality rates overall are declining, but hospitalizations for related conditions were up.
  • Infant mortality rates continue to decline, despite no decreases in low birth weight births.
  • Despite significant progress in recent years, most types of sexually transmitted infections have increased in the past year.

Most Chicagoans have some source of regular medical care; most of the insured, however, are not covered for wellness services.

Members discussed the findings and their implications. The decreasing mortality rates (including infant deaths) and rise in hospitalizations, along with the lack of improvement in low birth weight births, suggested to members that while advances are being made in medical intervention, more work is needed in the area of primary prevention.

A vignette from Chicago's experiences is provided throughout every phase of the MAPP process.
Chicago, IL Contact Information:
Erica Salem
Director of Planning and Development
Chicago Department of Public Health
333 South State Street, Room 200
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel: 312-747-9430
Fax: 312-747-9694
email: Salem_erica@cdph.org
See website for full plan at (cityofchicago.org/health)