Rhode Island Tracking Program

Website: http://health.ri.gov/programs/detail.php?pgm_id=1123external icon
Email: peter.dipippo@health.ri.gov


The mission of the Rhode Island (RI) Tracking Program is to translate environmental and public health data into meaningful information and increased knowledge and apply that knowledge to improve community health.

Quick Stats:

  • Rhode Island is 1,214 square miles in size with a population of just over 1,050,000. This puts the state just behind New Jersey in terms of population density.
  • Rhode Island earns its reputation as the Ocean State with over 400 miles of coastline and a maximum elevation of only 812 feet.
  • Dense urban populations and growing suburbs mean that the environment has the potential for major impacts on the health of RI residents.
  • The state has a long history of manufacturing and its waterways were once heavily contaminated with industrial waste. Major strides have been made in cleaning up Narragansett Bay and local neighborhoods, but legacy pollutants remain.


Important events and achievements of the tracking program

Deck chairs overlooking Rhode Island body of water

Unique Data:

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.


Addressing Community Cancer Concerns: Residents living near the airport in Warwick, RI expressed concern about cases of cancer in their neighborhood and possible connections to air pollution from the airport. The RI Tracking Program analyzed cancer data from the upwind and downwind side of the airport. They determined that socioeconomic factors and smoking were more likely indicators of cancer risk than air quality.

Keeping Outdoor Workers Safe in the Heat: RI Tracking partnered with the state Climate Change and Health Program and the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration consultancy to develop an awareness campaign addressing risk to outdoor workers on high-heat days. The partner group used Tracking data to identify vulnerable populations and to target the timing of messages. Prevention messages aired on radio and television stations during high-heat days. The messages were also shared during Bristol’s Fourth of July parade.

Tools & Resources:

Page last reviewed: March 24, 2020