DMI and Health Equity

Effective public health means equitable public health. Data can help us get there.

“COVID-19 has once again exposed how racism and where one lives determine, to a large degree, a person’s life trajectory in America. It has shined a critical light on the need to radically transform our public health data systems if we truly want to create an equitable society.”

— Richard E. Besser, MD. President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) is bridging the gap between the data we have now and the data we need to fully understand and address the drivers of health disparities. We are taking action toward more equitable public health by making data more complete, higher quality, more accessible, and more representative of all people.

Our goal is an “equity-centered” data system that accounts for social factors that have an impact on health, such as where people live, their environment, their income and jobs, the discrimination they face, and their access to health care.

Our vision for health equity is to have:

  • One public health community that shares best practices and standards for collecting data on race, ethnicity, and social determinants of health.
  • Broader access to integrated data that reflects the real-time needs of local communities.
  • Timely and complete data to help public health authorities distribute resources equitably, especially for environmental disasters or emerging public health threats.

How DMI Supports Health Equity

DMI is focusing on the potential of data to empower effective decision-making at the local level and to produce positive health outcomes, not only to stop diseases but to create wellness. We are committed to gathering evidence using true and transparent methods, and to listening to our partners and communities at every step.

Explore the topics below to learn about how DMI activities support health equity.