Salt Lake City — The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched a new tool today called the Utah Healthy Places Index (HPI). This new tool breaks down data on factors that impact a person’s health by neighborhood. This helps community leaders understand how different neighborhoods experience conditions we know impact our health, like education, job opportunities, housing, clean air, and transportation. It also includes evidence-based resources community leaders can use to find ways to make their communities healthier.
“Our vision is that all Utahns have fair and equitable opportunities to live healthy and safe lives,” said Tracy Gruber, DHHS executive director. “This vision is statewide and our goal regardless of where someone lives. We no longer want ZIP codes to drive health outcomes and this new tool will help us get there.”
“Where we live is strongly tied to our overall well-being and life expectancy — even more so than genetics. Decades of research show how strongly neighborhood environments and community conditions affect health outcomes. However, conditions that support health — access to education, good job opportunities, and healthy food and water — vary drastically by neighborhood. We can use this information to improve our communities and make sure everyone has access to the things they need,” said Sarah Hodson, deputy director with the DHHS Office of Health Promotion and Prevention.
You can use the Utah HPI to:
- Compare data across different areas in Utah.
- Filter each area by race, ethnicity, and country of origin.
- Use side-by-side maps to compare data.
- View data by a variety of geographies like Utah small area, ZIP code, census tract, county, and more.
- Find evidence-based policies that worked in other communities.
- Access hundreds of data indicators, including measures of equity, diversity, and inclusion; schools and education; and health outcomes.
“Information is powerful. The best way to improve people’s lives is to make sure community leaders, policymakers, and the people who live in our communities have the information they need,” said Hodson. “The Utah HPI tool provides everyone with open access to information about what’s happening in their individual community. Communities can then use this information to see where the problems are and know where to prioritize funding and resources.”
The Utah Healthy Places Index tool was developed by the DHHS Office of Health Promotion and Prevention in partnership with the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, creators of the California Healthy Places Index™. Nearly 100 partners from industries across Utah provided input on what data and policies were important to include to customize the tool for Utah communities.
The Utah HPI tool is available at https://dhhs.utah.gov/utahhpi/.
A copy of this news release in Spanish can be found here.