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Kodiak joins online public health dashboard

Kodiak is the second city in Alaska to join the City Health Dashboard (Brian Venua/KMXT)
Kodiak is the second city in Alaska to join the City Health Dashboard (Brian Venua/KMXT)

Kodiak is now part of an online initiative to make public health data across the country more accessible to local communities.

The City Health Dashboard was created by New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, and includes everything from rates of diabetes to broadband connectivity. More than 900 cities are part of the program – including Kodiak, which came online last month.

Alyssa McKenzie is Kodiak’s healthy and equitable communities program coordinator with the state’s Department of Health; she said the dashboard provides a bird’s eye view of Kodiak’s public health needs.

“It’s a good tool to kind of assist with identifying disparities and reducing that disease burden, as well as just health equity burdens that we experience in our community,” said McKenzie.

The dashboard compiles publicly available data from different sources – like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census Bureau – all in a centralized location online. And anyone can look up their city through a searchable database.

Kodiak is only the second city in the state to join the dashboard – the other is Anchorage. Alaska has unique public health burdens, and McKenzie said rural representation on the dashboard is important.

“It’ll help not just public health, but our local community based organizations, as well as city officials, borough officials to make decisions moving forward about how we can decrease those disparities that exist in our community,” she said.

McKenzie said the dashboard is also helpful for members of the public to better understand the place they live.