Health Department, IU Centers Create Quality of Life Data Resource

Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-221-2463

Health Department, IU Centers Create Quality of Life Data Resource

The Marion County Health Department today unveiled IndyIndicators, a rich and easy to use data resource that can help the people of Indianapolis and Central Indiana work together to shape the vitality of the community.

The interactive web-based project, created in collaboration with Indiana University research centers, makes available key information about factors having a crucial impact on the region's neighborhoods and communities.

"Education and unemployment drive household income, which in turn influences poverty rates, the housing market and access to affordable, routine health care. All of these factors impact the quality of life in our community," said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD).

IndyIndicators lets users compare Indianapolis and central Indiana with peer cities and regions and Indiana with other Midwestern states, across a variety of topic areas. The site features key indicators for arts and culture, the economy, education, environment quality, government and safety, public health, global connections, philanthropy and transportation. Users can also easily observe whether each indicator is improving deteriorating or stable.

Detailed information is currently available for certain topics, including public health and the economy, while data on other topics will be fleshed out as site development continues. While centered on Marion County, IndyIndicators spans a region from Terre Haute to Richmond and from Bloomington to Muncie and Lafayette.

"We view this as an electronic water cooler where the community can access data, share information, form collaborative relationships and formulate short and long range planning initiatives, with data that are constantly being updated and analyzed," said Joan Trendell, chief of the Bureau of Population Health for the MCPHD.

The Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) in IU's Kelley School of Business and the IU Public Policy Institute (PPI) in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are collaborating with the Health Department on the project. The Center on Philanthropy in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI also contributed to the effort.

"This website is a valuable tool for any community wanting to assess its quality of life and to develop strategies for improvement," said Jerry Conover, director of the IBRC.

In addition to the website, the group released the Marion County Metrics for Quality of Life and Community Assessment. "The report provides critical insight into key indicators in our community. Reports like these can facilitate public engagement," said John L. Krauss, director of the PPI.

Health Department and Indiana University officials expect IndyIndicators will be used widely by Indianapolis residents, public health workers, hospitals, local and state government, schools, faith-based organizations, social service agencies and neighborhood organizations.

IndyIndicators and the Marion County Metrics for quality of Life and Community Assessment are available online at www.indyindicators.iupui.edu.

For more information contact:
Marion County Public Health Department- 317-221-2000
Indiana Business Research Center in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business- 317-274-2979
Indiana University Public Policy Institute, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI 317-274-4656
The Center on Philanthropy in the School of Liberal Arts-IUPUI, 317-274-4200

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