Over the past five years, Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) has worked with communities throughout the country to build local capacity for multi-sector data-sharing, while simultaneously building the evidence base to inform a national movement. These three strategies—building the capacity, building the movement, building the evidence base—work in tandem for organizations in a range of sectors from housing, health care, education, public safety, economic development, behavioral health, and more.
DASH supports collaborations that work together to improve the health of their communities, promote health equity, and contribute to a Culture of Health by strengthening information-sharing systems, engaging additional sectors and community members, and building sustainable capacity to work collaboratively toward community goals. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the DASH Program Office (PO), led by the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) shares lessons learned from awardees to create a body of knowledge and advance this emerging field of sharing data and information across and beyond traditional health sectors, and leverages peer-to-peer connection opportunities to spread innovative approaches that address the root causes of inequity and poor health. The home for this network of dissemination is All In: Data for Community Health.
The work is challenging, but the payoff is invaluable. Shared data connects organizations throughout the community to address problems collaboratively. It accelerates interest in health equity. Multi-sector approaches contextualize individuals and communities within complex social conditions. And, perhaps most importantly, shared data reveals new solutions and interventions to longstanding problems.