Healthy Mason County: Bringing Accessible Data to Local Public Health

  • CHIP Challenges for Small Counties
  • Instant Web Publishing with LiveStories
  • An Easier Way to Communicate Data
  • Gaining the Confidence to Innovate
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Customer Case Study

Mason County, WA
Population: 63,710 (2017 est.)
Use Case: Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

Mason County, Washington is a community with a population of approximately 66,000 people. When Alison Smallwood, Community Health Education Specialist, first came to LiveStories, she was looking for a solution to provide needed health information to her community. When I asked Alison why she selected LiveStories to help her with this project, she responded: “The whole department for the past probably ten years has been trying to find a tool to publish our community health improvement plan.”

CHIP Challenges for Small Counties

A community health improvement plan (CHIP) is a collaborative action plan created to help improve community health, typically in response to a community health assessment need. Creating a CHIP typically requires:

  • A data collection process

  • A data analysis process

  • A data communication and education process

Alison’s department shares information with the community through its health department’s website. In an era where people expect instant updates to web-based reports, keeping on top of these types of data-intensive updates requires considerable resources and time. To solve this problem, Alison decided to look for a solution that would allow her to share information directly with her community, while saving money and time.

Small counties like Mason County often have limited resources to spend on technology. But within their community health department, there is the requirement to not only create impact but to communicate that impact effectively. Too frequently, Alison was frustrated by not being able to easily update information or publish new materials online, which resulted in outdated data being shared through their website. After working with LiveStories, she was able to immediately publish new data to her website by simply updating a Google spreadsheet, which she now uses to power these interactive, web-based reports. 

[LiveStories] has given me confidence in the fact that I was innovating for a county that was struggling to innovate.
— Alison Smallwood

Instant Web Publishing with LiveStories

With LiveStories, Alison could build her own website and take back control of her work. The software made it easy to do more on her own, while also saving time and money previously spent going back-and-forth in feedback cycles, negotiating changes with developers, and waiting on approvals.

I’m not a tech person, and I don’t know how to build a website. So, I bought a website, and I have that domain forward to the homepage of my LiveStory.
— Alison Smallwood

Alison found that this automatic update process saves her considerable amounts of time since she was no longer required to recreate each chart whenever new data became available. Now Alison can simply update her spreadsheet and know that her page will be up to date immediately

She also took advantage of LiveStories’ vast data library, so her community can find public information from organizations such as: The Center for Disease Control, the American Census Bureau, and many more. 

Mason County Public Health partnered with us to build out a number of pages on their Community Health Needs Assessment site to help their agency and the people of Mason County better understand the health of their community.

Opioid response page.

Opioid response page.

Community Health Assessment (CHA) page.

Community Health Assessment (CHA) page.

Housing and homelessness.

Housing and homelessness.

Mason County Public Health has built out a number of pages on their Community Health Needs Assessment site to understand community health from a high level.

An Easier Way to Communicate Data

Alison has also used LiveStories for other projects beyond the CHIP. A new grant enabled her team to expand the scope of her work with us to effectively communicate her department’s response to the increasing number of opioid overdoses occurring in their county.

“LiveStories has been a great resource for us to be able to do the coordination work we are being funded to do. We have utilized LiveStories to, create various pages to let the public know not only what our county is doing but what other resources exist and what other organizations are doing.”

Alison’s commitment to delivering effective and impactful information to the people of Mason County was what drove this project. LiveStories was honored to be a partner in making that a reality, and doing it quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.

It’s given me confidence in the fact that I was innovating for a county that was struggling to innovate.
— Alison Smallwood

Prior to using LiveStories, Alison was pointing her community to PDF links buried on Mason County’s website. Now she can point them directly to these interactive webpages, where all the information is dynamic and instantly updated. Alison has succeeded in bringing new technologies and capabilities to her community’s health department, benefiting everyone in Mason County.

Learn how your community can get a modern data report with LiveStories.