Sacramento Training: Health Statistics/Data Resources

Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Room 72.170 (Video Room)
1500 Capitol Ave, Sacramento
(Turn left as you enter the building and proceed through the double doors past the Enterprise Training Room)

Class Objective:
After this session, you will be able to more quickly and easily locate quality health-related statistics and datasets. You will also be able to identify some significant issues associated with the collection of health statistics.


RSVP by Monday, January 20th to Michael Sholinbeck at or (510) 642-2510.


* Does your research require health statistics or data, but you’re not sure where to get them?

* Do you want to know where to look for answers to questions such as:

– How many people in Sacramento County have been diagnosed with diabetes?
– How many Vietnamese-Americans (or other ethnic groups) live in various California counties and cities?
– Where can I find health status reports for California counties?
– How can I get raw data from a national survey that describes nutritional and behavioral factors associated with mortality?
– Can I quickly get a map of breast cancer rates for California counties?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s Health Statistics and Data Resources class!

Some of the topics that will be covered:
1. Vital Statistics
2. Incidence and Prevalence Statistics
3. National Surveys
4. GIS Data
5. California/California Counties Statistics

NOTE: We will NOT cover statistical analysis or statistical software programs.

A certificate of completion will be given to those who pre-register and attend the class.

Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

These one-hour training sessions are free to CDPH employees. Please obtain your supervisor’s approval to attend.

Hope to see you there!

Web Portal Password Change Ahead in the New Year

If you use the web portal to access library services, this change will apply to you! In the next couple of months, the Public Health Library will be changing web portal passwords to comply with the UC Berkeley campus password guidelines.

Web portal passwords need to:

1) Contain eight characters or more
2) Contain both types of characters below:
— Alphabetic (e.g., a-z, A-Z)
— Numeric (i.e. 0-9)

Web portal passwords SHOULD NOT be:
* A derivative of the username
* A word found in a dictionary (English or foreign)
* A dictionary word spelled backwards
* A dictionary word (forward or backwards) preceded and/or followed by any other single character (e.g., secret4, 4secret)

If you would like to choose your own new password, please log into the web portal and click on “Change Password” underneath the “Log Out” button in the personal information section. Please choose a new password by Friday, January 24; otherwise, a new password will be selected for you.

Please contact Debbie Jan ( or 510-642-2510) if you have any questions.

Looking for historic data on U.S. diseases?

The University of Pittsburgh has released Project Tycho, a collection of disease surveillance reports in the United States going back 125 years. Project Tycho provides open access to U.S. weekly surveillance data from 1888 to the present with a free log in.

A core team of scientists from the University of Pittsburgh collected weekly notifiable disease surveillance tables published between 1888 and 2013 from various historical reports that included the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Many of these approximately 6,500 tables were only available in paper or other formats that were not readable by computers. Thus they needed to be hand-entered to be digitized for the project. The data includes death counts, reporting locations, time periods
and diseases.

The most complete and standardized data is in Level 1 and includes 8 diseases. Level 2 data has been standardized and includes 47 diseases, 50 states, and over 1,000 cities. Level 3 data has not been standardized but will be provided upon request. It includes 56 diseases, 50 states, over 100 counties, and nearly 3,000 cities.

Details on the methodology, levels of data, and more are available on the Project Tycho website.

An article about Project Tycho was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 28th titled, “Contagious diseases in the United States from 1888 to the present.” To read it, you can go to the CDPH Special Contracted Services page. Then scroll down to click on PubMed under Key Resources. Once there, you can enter the PMID number 24283231 or title for this article in the search box to access it.

Free Maternal and Child Health Online Modules

Are you working in the maternal and child health arena and looking to improve or update your skills? The MCH Navigator project might help. It was launched by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the U.S. DHHS to address the professional development needs of the field.

The MCH Navigator is a centralized portal for pursuing continuous learning in maternal and child health. It was designed as a learning portal for maternal and child health professionals, students, and others working to improve the health and well being of women, children, and families. The free modules and learning resources here are meant to complement formal college and graduate level educational programs.

The website includes learning resources on basic information in MCH, conceptual models, management, epidemiology, leadership, and communication. Continuing Education Credits or completion certificates are offered for some of these units. You’ll find resources on topics from socioecological models to basic epidemiology for data users to program planning and evaluation.

The MCH Navigator at Georgetown University is funded by a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Need to find some cost studies for your project?

Cost studies can be difficult to find; here are a couple of places to try.

PubMed provides two ways to search for these. One is to go to PubMed’s Topic-Specific Queries page. Once there, click on Health Services Research Queries (HSR). This page provides specialized PubMed searches on healthcare quality and costs.

Enter your terms in the search box (eg, asthma, breastfeeding, etc), select either costs or economics, and select broad or narrow. Then click search. Clicking “broad” will retrieve more articles (but some may be less relevant to your topic), with “narrow” retrieving fewer but more relevant articles.

Wondering as we did what the difference between costs and economics is? PubMed defines them for you here.

The second method is to search PubMed directly combining terms relating to your topic with any of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms nested under or including Economics. Scroll down the page to find MeSH terms to try such as “Costs and Cost Analysis” and “Fees and Charges”. An example of such a search in PubMed for cost studies on breastfeeding might be:
“Costs and Cost Analysis”[Mesh] AND “Breast Feeding”[Mesh]

Tip: New to PubMed or MeSH terms, or want a quick refresher? The Public Health Library can help. We have created a PubMed Help page for CDPH. Or give us a call at (510) 642-2510.

Another source for cost study information is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The AHRQ has information on costs of hospital and ER visits among much more at the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). For example, you can get information here on the cost for an average hospital stay for a diabetes-related diagnosis by region of the country.

New Books!

The Public Health Library has the following new books available in print:

1. Cultural diversity in health and illness. By Rachel E Spector. Boston: Pearson, 2013.
Table of contents available at:
Call number: RA418.5.T73 S64 2013.

2. The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance: options for action. By World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2012.
Table of contents available at:
Call number: QR177 .E96 2012.
Also available online at:

3. Health communication message design: theory and practice. By Hyunyi Cho. Thousand Oaks, Calif. SAGE Publications, 2012.
Table of contents available at:
Call number: RA423.2 .H423 2012.

and here are some new titles available online from the National Academies Press:

4. Research Progress on Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials. By Committee to Develop a Research Strategy for Environmental Studies and Toxicology; Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST); National Materials and Manufacturing Board (NMMB); Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS); Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS); National Research Council, 2013.
Available online at:
(free registration required to download pdf)

5. Leveraging Culture to Address Health Inequalities: Examples from Native Communities: Workshop Summar. By Karen M. Anderson and Steve Olson, Rapporteurs; Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine, 2013.
Available online at:
(free registration required to download pdf)

6. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. By Harold W. Kohl III and Heather D. Cook, Editors. Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment; Food and Nutrition Board (FNB); Institute of Medicine, 2013.
Available online at:
(free registration required to download pdf)

Please note that these books are only a small selection of what is newly available. If you are interested in checking out any book(s), submit a request using our online form and we will mail the book(s) to you.

You may also log into your web portal account to request book(s).

If you do not currently possess a UC Berkeley library card, you will need to apply for one before we can check out a book to you.