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KY Health Numbers Crunched by a Mouse

March 3, 2009

Frankfort, KY – A click of a mouse brings access to a new public health database from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. It may be just what the doctor ordered – a complete physical of the state, so Kentuckians can compare their health to others in their area.

The "Kentucky Health Facts" Web site should also allow local and state leaders to design plans to better meet healthcare needs. In compiling the data, researcher Sarah Walsh says they found stark contrasts between healthcare situations in cities and rural areas.

"Whether they have access to health insurance, as well as access to care - in the sense of, 'Are there even doctors and dentists that we can go see in our community?'"

Walsh says in some towns, poor health is often accepted as the norm. She hopes the Web site can help change that view.

"To look at that county-level data, and say, 'Hey, what's going on here?' And then bring the communities together to see what can we do about it; to ask, 'How can we be healthier as a society?'"

Walsh says oral health has been a popular research topic on the site, partly because of a recent national television program featuring stories of Kentucky children with serious tooth decay. The health facts database can be viewed online at www.kentuckyhealthfacts.org.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - KY