McKieran helps launch powerful data tool for Bexar County community conditions

McKieran helps launch powerful data tool for Bexar County community conditions

A beta version of a powerful new tool designed to help people find and use data about community conditions in Bexar County, led by Laura McKieran, PhD of UTHealth Houston School of Public Health San Antonio, has been launched by Community Information Now (CI:Now).

Bexar County Data Dive is accessible online at dive.cinow.info. It was developed by McKieran and her team along with other community partners for CI:Now, a nonprofit local data aggregator.

Highlights of the platform include:

  • Built for ease of use and accessibility for all people
  • Offers local data on areas ranging from health and demographics to education, economic status, housing, criminal justice, environment and transportation
  • Users can explore data (if available) by county, census tract, zip code, or a new census tract-based geography called Statistical Small Area (SSA); and break out the data by race/ethnicity, age group, and sex
  • Compare different geographies and groups, such as race/ethnicity groups
  • A Spanish-language version of the site will be launched in winter 2022.
  • New feature development and data additions are ongoing.

CI:Now won a three-year grant in 2021 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to help people in Bexar County access and use data to reduce health disparities and inequities. In addition to supporting development of the data platform itself, the grant also supports outreach, training, and technical assistance to help people understand and use the data.

McKieran is executive director of CI:Now and a faculty member at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, which has worked with CI:Now since 2008. The school has been a vital public health asset for the San Antonio community since it was founded in 1979. Most recently the school supported the city during the COVID-19 pandemic by working closely with Metro Health to do contact tracing. The two-year project just wrapped up in September.

About UTHealth Houston School of Public Health San Antonio: UTHealth Houston School of Public Health San Antonio was founded in 1979 as a campus of UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. The school offers various public health degrees and certificates designed to equip students with the tools, knowledge and opportunities for a career focused on getting to the root of some of the biggest health problems in modern history. Faculty conduct research based on the needs of the surrounding communities, and work in partnership with other universities, military organizations and health care groups to develop comprehensive strategies for local impact with global potential.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the critical importance of having excellent public health leaders. With more than 40 years in the San Antonio community, the UTHealth School of Public Health stands ready to train the next generation of public health servants.

About Community Information Now: CI:Now is a nonprofit local data intermediary that provides data, tools, analysis, and training to inform decisions to improve Texas communities, focusing primarily on Bexar and surrounding counties..

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