Using health data to improve community health

Often in academia the direct arrow from research findings to improving the human condition is hard to see. I believe this is a major problem specifically  in the area of health and wellness. Governmental organizations, the private sector, and foundations spend billions of dollars on health research and yet the health of U.S. individuals and the health care system is dismal. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research however is trying to change this.  With a new blog called Health DATAbytes the Center is attempting to turn knowledge gained in research into action to improve  community health.  The staff and writers of the blog seek to teach both community members and professionals how to use health data to raise public awareness about an issue or advocate for public policies that benefit their community. Sharing recent research findings with the public is a great way to empower the public to be engaged in the health care crisis. For example, Porsche Johnson posted on April 20th about an event in downtown LA open to the public that includes workshops on transportation and health in your community. Discussions will be centered around the building sustainable and health communities through cleaner air and safer streets. Hosted by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network  this event will be a great way to learn how to improve health in your community! Check out the Health DATAbytes blog to learn more about recent research findings.