Burden of Disease Assessment Tool

Grant Amount: $199,998
Recipient: Public Health — Seattle and King County

In King County, Washington, average measures of quality of life are among the highest in the country. However, the impacts of inequity are seen in the much lower health measures for people of color, people living in poverty, and people living in communities with limited opportunity. Patterns like this in cities across the United States emphasize the need to identify, address, and monitor progress towards eliminating health disparities. For a local government to take on a role, comprehensive information on the diseases, injuries, and risk factors that most burden community health is needed in order to guide policy formation, allocate funding effectively, and measure progress. However, local health departments struggle with a lack of infrastructure as well as a lack of common methods and metrics to produce this information.

Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), in partnership with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and with funding from the de Beaumont Foundation, worked to develop a King County Burden of Disease Assessment Tool. The tool would be used to routinely collected health data to compare the burden of disease at a sub-county level, providing analyses to the public and policymakers that will evaluate the success and cost-effectiveness of policy, systems, and environment changes to minimize disparities and improve health. This project served as a potential pilot for other large metropolitan health departments looking to better understand the burden of disease on their community. Development of the tool has been put on hold pending additional data analysis.