Kentucky Tracking Program
The mission of the Kentucky (KY) Tracking Program is to assemble and support access to environmental and health data to improve community health.
Kentucky ranks consistently as one of the least healthy states in the country and many of the health conditions faced by residents have environmental connections. Compared with national average rates, Kentucky has a high burden of respiratory issues, cancer, obesity, and heart disease. In recent years, Kentucky has had:
- The highest rate of new cases of lung and bronchus cancers in the nation (2016).
- Kentucky: 86.8 cases per 100,000 population
- National: 55.9 per 100,000
- A higher percentage of adults who report being current smokers compared to the United States as a whole (2018).
- Kentucky: 23.4%
- National: 16.7%
- The 3rd highest rate of deaths from heart attacks among persons 35 years and older compared to other states (2016).
- The 5th highest rate of reported exposure to all pesticides compared to other states (2017).
Important events and achievements of the tracking program
Became the first un-funded state to submit Tracking data to CDC
KY Tracking Program established with CDC funding
Increased KY Tracking data to include more than 140 measures
In addition to the set of standard data collected and displayed by all state and local tracking programs, individual programs may host data that are important to their populations. Kentucky Tracking displays data on the following topics.
- Climate & Weatherexternal icon (Cold Illness, Severe Weather-related Hospitalizations, Wildfires)
- Radonexternal icon
- Social Vulnerabilities Index (SVI)external icon
- Community Snapshot Reportsexternal icon
- Mortality Dataexternal icon (Injury and General Mortality)
- KyBRFSexternal icon
- Injury Dataexternal icon
- Supporting Local Health Departments: KY Tracking has provided financial and technical assistance to local health departments via mini-grants, which have resulted in addressing community issues related to the built environment, extreme heat, radon, air quality, and asthma.
- Addressing Children’s Environmental Health: KY Tracking successfully initiated the Kentucky Children’s Environmental Health Summit in 2016—currently an annual event dedicated to education and awareness of environmental issues related to children.
- Collaborating to Improve Public Health: Maintaining linkages with community partners, along with federal and state agencies, enables KY Tracking to address chronic disease problems and respond to emerging environmental health issues, like a community-wide arsenic exposure event. Also, KY Tracking supports the state and local health departments in their efforts to acquire accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board.
- Partnering with Universities: KY Tracking’s partnerships with various universities across the state help support data collection efforts and strengthen skills among public health students and professional workforce.