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Researchers have created a new way to look at public health issues in Michigan cities

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s a new tool that Michigan cities can use to better understand their health care needs.

The NYU School of Medicine has developed what they call the City Health Dashboard, which looks at 36 key measures and drivers of health.   

Marc Gourevitch is the Dashboard’s principal architect. He says health problems like opioid abuse and obesity are tracked on the dashboard.

“Not only looking at health itself,” says Gourevitch, “but some of the things that cause health, like housing and transportation and air quality. So we try to bring all that together.”

The dashboard has local data from America’s 500 largest cities, including Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing and many other Michigan cities.

A few examples of the data on the City Health Dashboard:

- Flint has lower than average rates of air pollution and binge drinking compared to the Dashboard’s 500 cities. - The percentage of housing at risk for lead in Grand Rapids is two times higher than the average percentage among the Dashboard’s 500 cities. - The overall lead exposure risk score for Ann Arbor is 1.5 times higher than the average score for the Dashboard’s 500 cities - On average, the percentage of Detroit residents with limited access to healthy foods is lower than the average percentages across the Dashboard’s 500 cities - The income inequality in Lansing is 3.9 times greater than the average income inequality for the Dashboard’s 500 cities

Gourevitch hopes the dashboard will help promote “health and well-being” in the communities that use it.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.