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Using Environmental Public Health Tracking to Identify Community Targets for Public Health Actions in Childhood Lead Poisoning in Wisconsin

Berney, Dawn MPA; Camponeschi, Jenny MS; Coons, Marjorie RN, MS; Creswell, Paul D. PhD; Schirmer, Joe MS; Walsh, Reghan BS

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: March/April 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue - p S80–S84
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000161
Science and Data
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Objective: In an effort to improve the ability of local public health departments to target resources to the highest need regions, the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking (WI EPHT) Program worked to enhance its public portal to benefit the Wisconsin Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (WCLPPP) and other programs. The WI EPHT Program conducted this enhancement in collaboration with WCLPPP.

Design/Setting: The WI EPHT enhanced public portal is the next phase of Wisconsin's ongoing efforts in environmental public health tracking. As part of this process, this new mapping application includes mapping capacity that provides information on childhood lead testing and results at county and census tract levels in Wisconsin.

Methods: The WI EPHT Program will update its public portal to have the capability to map data at a subcounty level (ie, census tract or zip code) for some data topics when such data are available.

Results: This tool is available to local public health departments and other public health organizations throughout Wisconsin as a resource to identify communities most affected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines with regard to childhood lead poisoning.

Conclusions: The collaboration between WI EPHT and WCLPPP on updating and enhancing the portal exemplifies the power of environmental health data to inform a more accurate understanding of public health problems.

This study focuses on the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program to improve the ability of local public health departments to target resources to the highest need regions.

Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Mss Berney and Camponeschi and Dr Creswell) and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (Mss Coons and Walsh and Mr Schirmer), Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health in Madison.

Correspondence: Dawn Berney, MPA, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, West Wilson St, Room 150, Madison, WI 53703 (dawn.berney@wi.gov).

The authors thank Jeff Havlena for analysis of the childhood lead poisoning data, Pamela Campbell for running SAS reports to output the data, and Jodi Navarro for entering the data into the childhood lead databases.

Disclosure of Funding: Funding received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cooperative agreements: 5U38EH000951-02, 5U38EH000951-03, and 1UE1EH000850-01) was used for this project.

Context: Public health entities have limited resources to address competing priorities. For the Wisconsin Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, under the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children considered to have elevated blood lead levels has increased by a factor of more than 7, while funding for local health has remained static.

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