Public Health Data Sources & Assessment Tools:A Resource Compendium to Measure Access and Health Disparities
Updated August 2009

A core function of public health agencies is to promote a statewide assessment of current health status and access barriers to help prioritize interventions and set baselines for measuring progress. This function is often carried out through partnerships at the national, state, and local levels. State and territorial health departments play a key role in mobilizing these partnerships and working with others to support health improvement efforts. Examples of such partnerships include the HRSA-supported State Access Planning Grants and Community Health Center Expansion planning processes many states have undertaken in recent years. This compendium highlights a number of tools and data sources which may be helpful in this work.

This compendium provides support to a state or community assessing where they are on the continuum toward improving access and reducing health disparities. It includes links to all of the innovative state and local data sources that are available online. We hope these tools will be helpful to states and communities working in partnership with HRSA and others to improve access and reduce health disparities. (Please Note: Due to space restrictions, this is not a comprehensive listing and inclusion here does not necessarily constitute endorsement by either ASTHO or HRSA. To suggest additions or clarifications for future editions, please direct comments to



HHS Directory of Health and Human Services Data Resources

CDC Wonder

Title V MCH Information System

The National Community Health Status Indicator Project

The Public Health Informatics Network


The National Center for Health Statistics

State/County/City Health Profiles

State and Local Health Departments

American Fact Finder: U.S. Census Bureau

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: CDC

Big Cities Health Inventory: National Association of County and City Health Officials

Current Population Survey: The U.S. Census Bureau

National Health Interview Survey

Survey of Income and Program Participation

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

Health Professional Shortage Areas: HRSA and State Health Department

Medically Underserved Areas Designations

Safety Net Monitoring Data and Tools: The AHRQ State Health Access Profile - University of Minnesota School of Health Policy

Statistics Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: Bureau of Justice

The Social and Health Landscape of Urban and Suburban America: SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Toxics Release Inventory: Environmental Protection Agency

National Organizations Producing State Profiles

America’s Health: State Health Rankings--United Health Foundation

Kids Count: Annie E. Casey Foundation

PeriStats: March of Dimes

State by State Health Center Data: National Association of Community Health Centers

State Health Facts:Kaiser Family Foundation

State Profiles: AARP

Across the States 2002: Profiles of Long-Term Care

Youth and Adolescent Data

Monitoring the Future Study: The National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health:National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Youth Tobacco Survey:CDC Office of Smoking and Health

School Health Education Profiles:CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health

School Health Policies and Programs Study:CDC DASH

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey:CDC

Federal Government Agencies Producing State Profiles

National Women's Health Indicators Database: HHS Office on Women's Health

National Oral Health Surveillance System: CDC

State Health Workforce Profiles: HRSA

State Profiles: HRSA

Title V Information System: HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Safety and Health State Profiles:The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Geographic Information Systems

Atlas of United States Mortality: CDC

Cartographic Archive: Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Reference and Thematic Maps: U.S. Census Bureau


National Programs to Support State and Local Infrastructure & Capacity Assessments  

NACCHO National Profiles of Local Health Departments Surveillance Series

National Public Health Performance Standards Program

Strategic Planning Tools  

NACCHO MAPP - Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships

Sample State Programs to Support Local Health Assessments

Missouri Community Health Assistance Resource Team (CHART)

Illinois IPLAN

Washington Public Health Improvement Plan

National Health Objectives  

Healthy People 2010

Healthy People Leading Health Indicators

Health Care Quality and Managed Health Care Plan Assessment Tools

ARHQ Consumer Assessment of Health Plans

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

National Committee for Quality Assurance

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Foundation for Accountability

The National Quality Forum

HRET Toolkit for Collecting Data from Patients

APPENDIX I Summary of Selected NCHS Survey and Data Systems

APPENDIX II States Currently Publishing County Health Data Profiles

This compendium is made possible through a cooperative agreement with HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care. ASTHO appreciates their continuing support.