August 19, 2015
AUSTIN — Healthy ATC (Austin/Travis County) is a collaboration of Travis County Health & Human Services & Veterans Services Department, City of Austin Health & Human Services Department, and Central Health to plan together, share public data, and align goals & activities specific to priority health indicators and social determinants of health. The new web portal (www.healthyatc.org) aggregates community plans and reports to improve community health.
“Our goal is, and has always been, to improve the health of all our residents,” says City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “The Healthy ATC collaboration aligns our efforts to address critical health issues in our community, with a focus on health disparities among our low-income, African American, and Hispanic populations.”
Austin seems to be a very healthy community on the surface. But when you look closer, our community has health disparities. In Travis County, chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and diabetes account for nearly three out of four deaths.
Currently, 647,650 adults in Travis County are overweight or obese, and 91,320 Travis County residents have diabetes.
In 2013, 785 residents died due to a tobacco-related illness, tobacco use is the #1 leading cause of preventable death and disability in our community.
The HIV prevalence rate in Travis County is almost 40% higher than the rate in Tarrant County, and 24% higher than Bexar County.
In all of the above-listed areas of health– low-income, African American, and Hispanic people fare worse than the general population. We have significant health inequity in our community.
The Healthy ATC web portal will be a one-stop shop that will provide information about health disparities that need to be addressed and where improvements can be made, showcase best practices and current evidence-based research, display community health status, and provide opportunities to join in the work that will make our communities healthier.
“Today’s launch of the Healthy ATC website gives citizens, residents, community groups, nonprofits and others access to a customized health disparities portal to meet local community health information needs,” Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. “This shared information and spirit of collaboration can help us shape, build support for, and implement policies.”
Working together – we will develop and adopt local policies that will move the needle toward a more equitable, sustainable, model healthy community. The focus of these policies are the indicators that will impact community members with the greatest health disparities and improve the health of our overall population.
“Today I encourage the policymakers, decision-makers, and influencers in our community to connect to the Healthy ATC initiative. The work it will produce has the power to transform Austin and Travis County into a place that truly sets a standard for health and wellness for all members of our community,” Katrina Daniel, Central Health Board of Managers Chairperson. “Today, members of the community can get involved by visiting the Healthy ATC website at www.healthyatc.org to sign up to join our efforts to create health equity in our community.”