Press Release
November 8, 2013
Jennifer Cosenza (202) 729-4074
Kelly Jakubek (IDPH) (312) 814-8198

Health Data Consortium Partners with State of Illinois to Convene Forum on ‘Putting Health Data to Work’

Inaugural event kicks off the first-ever Illinois Public Health Datapalooza

Chicago – Officials with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Administration today joined the Health Data Consortium (HDC) to kick off two days of activities focused on developing and sharing innovative ways to work with open health data in an effort to drive innovation and create better health outcomes in Illinois and in cities and states across the country. Today’s event marked the first in a series of regional forums sponsored by Health Data Consortium focused on “Putting Health Data to Work in Our States and Communities.” At this inaugural event in Chicago, thought leaders from the private, non-profit, academia, and government sectors gathered to discuss the most pressing health data issues being faced in the United States and actionable ideas for using health data to drive innovation and improve care at the state and local levels.

Continuing the discussion on finding innovative ways to work with health data and furthering Governor Quinn’s commitment to improving health outcomes and access to healthcare for all Illinoisans, the Illinois Department of Public Health will also host the first statewide Illinois Public Health Datapalooza event this Saturday, November 9.

“Providing access to open state data helps spur economic development by encouraging software developers to create innovative and useful applications for the data. That’s why I directed IDPH and other state agencies in 2011 to increase the amount and type of data sets available to the public,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “I encourage participants of this weekend’s events to use the state’s open health data to create useful applications that will help improve the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.”

During today’s event, distinguished speakers from industry, academia, non-profits, and government, participated in an active exchange of ideas to illustrate how health data can be put to work to improve healthcare outcomes in our cities and states. The conference was organized by the Health Data Consortium, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, with generous support from the California HealthCare Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Socrata, ESRI, 1871, the Smart Chicago Collaborative, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 200 experts in technology, healthcare, and business—along with public health officials and entrepreneurs—shared their perspectives on how the use of open health data is changing the face of healthcare.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health is proud to partner with Health Data Consortium to provide a forum for healthcare and technology professionals to develop and share innovative ways to work with health data that will help transform healthcare throughout our state,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Director, Illinois Department of Public Health.

National and local leaders also today discussed new models and best practices for using health data at the state and local levels and highlighted opportunities for public-private partnerships to improve healthcare outcomes. Speakers highlighted several projects and programs already underway, including the use of health data as a tool to identify and eliminate health disparities; efforts to establish best practices for local governments and policymakers to support the liberation of data and manage data-sharing initiatives; and the role of foundations, non-profits, universities and industry in putting health data to work to improve the public’s health.

“The innovative initiatives underway in Illinois and throughout the country provide evidence of the amazing progress that we can make by unleashing the power of open health data,” said Dwayne Spradlin, chief executive officer, Health Data Consortium. “The models and best practices shared during today’s event drive home the new ways that health data can be used to help improve healthcare quality and outcomes for patients.”

During the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Illinois Public Health Datapalooza event this Saturday, November 9, entrepreneurs, IT developers, coders, researchers, and civic-minded individuals will receive an introduction to government data sets already available at, the state’s open data portal. Attendees will also get an in-depth look at new public health data sets soon to be released.

Launched by Governor Quinn in June 2011, the state of Illinois’ open data portal,, was designed to provide open access to state data and greater transparency in state government. The website is a clearinghouse of information from state agencies that helps inform residents about the operation of state government and encourages the creative use of state information, including the development of applications for mobile devices that can be built around the data.

Both events are taking place at the famed 1871, a 50,000-square-feet, co-working center for digital startups located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. At the end of the two days of activities, app and map development challenges will be announced with a top category prize of $10,000. Electronic submissions for the challenges are due by November 30, 2013, and prize winners will be announced in early December. Visit for more information on how to apply.

Join us on Twitter #healthdata, @IDPH and @hdconsortium for this event. Additional details regarding these and other upcoming Health Data Consortium events can be found at

About the Health Data Consortium
The Health Data Consortium is a collaboration among government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to foster the availability and innovative use of data to improve health and health care. The Consortium advocates with data sources to promote best practices and information sharing; and works with businesses, entrepreneurs, and academia to help them understand how to use data to develop new products, services, apps, and research insights. Learn more at or @hdconsortium on Twitter.

About the Illinois Department of Public Health
The Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for protecting the state's 12.4 million residents, as well as countless visitors, through the prevention and control of disease and injury. The Department's nearly 200 programs touch virtually every age, aspect and cycle of life. For more information about IDPH, visit, follow us on Twitter @IDPH or find us on Facebook at

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