Baltimore City Health Department Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to Improve Community Health through Multi-Sector Collaboration


BALTIMORE, MD (February 1, 2016)– Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) has been selected by DASH—Data Across Sectors for Health—as one of ten grantees to implement projects that improve health through multi-sector data sharing collaborations. DASH is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy focused exclusively on health and health care.

Experts say that while most communities have some access to data from public health and health care systems, they lack important information on social determinants, such as transportation, housing, education and social services. These factors play a major role in contributing to individual and community health and wellbeing.

“Sharing data across sectors narrows knowledge gaps, increases collaboration, and ultimately improves community health,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “In order for our community to see better health outcomes, we need more comprehensive data – including data that sheds light on the social determinants beyond clinical health care that influence our health.”

The work of BCHD would not be possible without the joint efforts of the various sectors in our community. As part of this grant, BCHD will be collaborating with partners across the region, including:

  • Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Baltimore Housing
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Center for Public Health Information Technology
  • AARP
  • Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP)
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • Banner Neighborhoods
  • Green and Healthy Homes Initiatives (GHHI)
  • Civic Works
  • Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO) 
  • Johns Hopkins Nursing
  • Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

DASH grantees will identify and test innovative practices that foster collaboration, engage across sectors and build robust data and information systems to increase capacity of organizations to improve health in their communities.

Baltimore City Health Department will focus on taking aim at the leading cause of unintentional injury death among older adults in the United States by reducing the rate of falls leading to an Emergency Department visit or hospitalization among city residents age 65 and older by one-third over three years. BCHD will lead a team of partners to develop a rapid surveillance capacity for all falls requiring Emergency Department of inpatient hospital care. The collaborative will then integrate the core hospital data with other health, environmental, and social service data and conduct analyses to inform existing and new program initiatives. Multi-year grants were awarded in January 2016 and will run through July 2017.

“Data sharing across sectors increases the capacity of collaborations to understand the health of their community. When communities incorporate social determinant, clinical and public health data, they have more detailed information to make better decisions about programs and policies that affect health outcomes,” said Peter Eckart of the Illinois Public Health Institute, which administers DASH. “Without collaboration between government and private and public organizations—including organizations that aren’t traditionally thought of in terms of health, we cannot have an accurate understanding of community health.”

For more information about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit or follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

To learn more about DASH, visit or follow them at @DASH_connect.

To learn more about the Baltimore City Health Department, please visit and follow us at @BMore_Healthy.

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