About PHMC's Community Health Data Base
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that since 1972 has worked to create and sustain healthier communities in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region and beyond. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, data collection and analysis, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC partners with government, foundations, businesses and community-based organizations to fulfill its mission to improve the health of the community.
In 1983, PHMC recognized that local, population-based data were generally unavailable for health planning, policy and program development, and that this missing information greatly reduced the capacity of local health and social service organizations to plan and design health programs to address the needs of local residents and communities. To fill this gap, PHMC obtained support to create the Community Health Data Base (CHDB).
A central component of the CHDB is the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, one of the longest running regional Household Health Survey in the country, administered every two years in over 10,000 households. The CHDB also maintains and disseminates US Census and Pennsylvania vital statistics data.
The CHDB is a unique, critical resource for area health and social service agencies, providing:
- Local data rather than extrapolations based on national or state data
- Data that are community-based rather than resource-based
- Data that can be examined by different levels of geography, including census tract, health district and ZIP code, as well as county and region
- Longitudinal data that can be used as a baseline to measure changes in health, social status and access to care over time
In recent years, the need for population-based data has become ever more urgent and apparent. The CHDB helps health care providers understand changes in:
- The environment, such as shifts in population composition, and
- The effects of economic shifts and changes to health care.
The CHDB serves as an impartial data source for investigating these issues and for monitoring progress toward public health goals, such as Healthy People 2020 benchmarks.
The CHDB remains a valued and greatly expanded resource with supporting members from across the region who use the data in their hospitals and health systems, county health and human service departments and nonprofit organizations. These organizations depend on The CHDB for information that helps them plan programs, market services and assess needs. For information on becoming a CHDB member or affiliate, visit our Become a Member or Become an Affiliate section.