HHS • December 9, 2013
The goal of Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) is to provide an overview of key health indicators for local communities and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve a community’s health. The CHSI report was designed not only for public health professionals but also for members of the community who are interested in the health of their community. The CHSI report contains over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 United States counties. Although CHSI presents indicators like deaths due to heart disease and cancer, it is imperative to understand that behavioral factors such as tobacco use, diet, physical activity, alcohol and drug use, sexual behavior and others substantially contribute to these deaths (see chart).
In addition to the web pages, community profiles can be displayed on maps or downloaded in a brochure format. The CHSI mapping capability allows users to visually compare similar counties (termed peer counties) as well as adjacent counties with their own county. This feature will be available when the CHSI 2009 mapping update is ready. The downloaded CHSI report allows broad dissemination of information to audiences that may not have access to the internet.
The CHSI report provides a tool for community advocates to see, react, and act upon creating a healthy community. The report can serve as a starting point for community assessment of needs, quantification of vulnerable populations, and measurement of preventable diseases, disabilities, and deaths. The CHSI report is accompanied by a companion document entitled Data Sources, Definitions, and Notes (PDF - 433KB). This document gives detailed descriptions on data estimations, definitions, caveats, methodology, and sources.