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WHAT IS THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT?

Frequently Asked Questions

The Landscape Project is an initiative of the Texas Health Institute. Its purpose is to provide organizations and individuals with comprehensive information they can use to better understand and improve the health of Texas residents and Texas communities.

The Institute is working with two advisory groups of more than 75 people who represent state agencies, health departments, health care organizations and community based organizations. These advisory groups play a key role in recommending indicators to pursue, assessing the quality and appropriate uses of data.

WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT?
The Landscape Project brings together a wide range of data on more than 220 health, social and economic indicators for each of the state’s 254 counties, Texas as a whole, and the United States. These indicators are grouped in such categories as "Demographics," "Socioeconomic Data," "Maternal and Child Health," "Chronic and Communicable Disease," and "Environmental Health." In aggregate, these indicators create the health landscape for an individual county, an MSA, a geographic region, or the entire state.

WHAT IS AN INDICATOR?
The Landscape Project uses the term "indicator" to describe a discrete quantitative measure of health, social or economic status. Indicators are typically expressed as raw numbers, percents, averages, indexed rates, or ratios. For example, median household income is a Landscape Project indicator, as are homicide rate, pounds of air emissions, infant mortality rate, and number of persons living with HIV/AIDS. It requires many different indicators to accurately portray any geographic area’s health landscape.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE WAY THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT PORTRAYS THE HEALTH OF TEXAS COUNTIES?
The Landscape Project has the most extensive range of indicators available - not only for health factors, but also for demographic, economic, educational, social and criminal justice factors as well. For most indicators, there's three years of data, too, rather than just a single year. And website users can access the information in a variety of formats, including tables, charts or text. That makes it a very versatile, comprehensive tool, whether you're a professional health planner, an elected official, or an interested, concerned citizen.

HOW CURRENT IS THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT’S INFORMATION?
One distinctive of the Landscape Project is that it provides data from the beginning, middle and end of the most recent decade for nearly all indicators. The most current information is typically from 1999 or 2000. The availability of data from three points in time makes it easy to identify trends – and helps in determining whether a county, MSA, region or the state is making progress toward achieving better health.

WHERE DOES THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT GET ITS DATA?
The Landscape Project pulls together data from a wide range of the best original sources, including the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Texas Department of Health, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, U.S. Department of Commerce, Social Security Administration, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

WHAT’S THE ADVANTAGE OF GETTING INFORMATION FROM THE LANDSCAPE PROJECT?
The Landscape Project provides a single source for a vast array of information about Texas counties, which makes accessing the data easier and more convenient. Landscape Project users can secure information on a single indicator or on all indicators for a single county – or users can secure information about a single indicator or multiple indicators for many counties. It’s the quickest and easiest way to make comparisons among and between Texas counties on these important indicators.

WHERE CAN I OBTAIN LANDSCAPE PROJECT INFORMATION?
Landscape Project information is available online at the Texas Health Institute website: www.texashealthinstitute.com. To secure printed materials or schedule training on how your community can best use Landscape Project information to improve its health, contact the Texas Health Institute by telephone (512) 874-7671 or mail at P.O. Box 15587, Austin, Texas 78761 or email: info@texashealthinstitute.org

HOW DO I OBTAIN SPECIALIZED REPORTS OR RAW DATA?
The Institute can produce customized reports using data from the Landscape Project. Please make your request to us (512) 874-7671.

HOW DO I START A COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE?
The Institute has vast experience in facilitating change at the community level through community collaboratives involving all stakeholders in health care. We can provide facilitation, research, analysis and clearinghouse services benefiting your needs. Contact the Institute at (512) 874-7671 for more information.