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Maternal and Child Health Professionals

What is the Tracking Network?

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is a dynamic surveillance system that provides health and environmental data in one easy-to-use Website. Tracking Network data come from a variety of national, state, and city sources. Users of the Tracking Network can explore information and view maps, tables, and charts about health and environment across the country.

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How can it help me?

Maternal and Child Health professionals like you have a positive impact on a wide range of conditions and health behaviors for mothers and children. You have the power to improve the health of women, children (including those with special needs), and families through focused interventions and policy decisions. The Tracking Network can help you. By identifying health issues or effects that may impact the health of the women and children you work with, you can use the Tracking Network to create the targeted interventions needed in your area. The Tracking Network is a free data source that can also help you demonstrate the health impacts of the work you do every day.

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Maternal and Child Health professionals can use the Tracking Network in many ways.

  • Find answers to environmental and health questions
  • Educate women and families about behaviors to protect health
  • Identify patterns in community health issues or environmental concerns
  • Use data to educate communities
  • Find data for grant applications and research
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Maternal and Child Health professionals like you are putting the Tracking Network to use in communities across the country.

Researchers found that women of child-bearing age in Duval and Martin Counties, Florida, consume more fish than their counterparts in other areas of the United States and mercury levels in their hair are higher than in the hair of study participants of the study who do not consume fish. Using this information, researchers were able to identify a need for increased education for at-risk populations about possible exposure to mercury in certain types of fish.

The Florida Tracking Program created the Fish for Your Health Wallet Card, containing information about the types and amounts of fish to eat. The Florida Tracking Program distributes the wallet cards to county health departments, state fish markets and grocery stores. The Florida Medical Association (FMA) shares the wallet cards with its members and with physicians' offices.

To take a look at how tracking programs across the country are making important, lasting contributions to the health of their communities, you can view more of the "Tracking in Action" video series. More stories and examples of data use are available here.

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Content of Interest to Maternal and Child Health Professionals

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network provides data on a variety of conditions, including:

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Additional Resources for Maternal and Child Health Professionals

Communication Tools

Infographics and Animated Maps

The Tracking Branch has created several infographics to help make Tracking data easy to understand. Infographics feature key facts about risk groups, prevention messages, and the connections between health and the environment. The latest topics covered include heart health, children’s environmental health, and developmental disabilities.

Animated maps are another way the Tracking Branch is working to make data trends easier to understand. The maps show data on a topic over several years and include statements to ensure accurate interpretation of the data. These maps are available for outdoor air, asthma, childhood lead poisoning, reproductive & birth outcomes, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Communication Toolkits

The Tracking Branch has developed communication toolkits to help grantees and partners increase awareness of Tracking Network data and information among key audiences. Each toolkit includes communication resources such as talking points and ready-to-use web content, as well as facts and data. The newest toolkits focus on Children's Environmental Health, Women's Health, and Birth Defects.

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Partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

The Tracking Program partners with NACCHO on a number of environmental public health tracking activities. You can learn more and find additional resources on the NACCHO website.

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Partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

NEHA and CDC currently offer two online trainings related to tracking for local health department staff.

  • Environmental Public Health Tracking 101 (Tracking 101)
    Tracking 101 gives an overview of the major components of Environmental Public Health Tracking. Topics include the National Tracking Network and Program, surveillance and epidemiology, types of tracking data, GIS, policies, and communication. Users can earn free continuing education from CDC and NEHA.*
  • Tracking in Action: Workforce Implementation
    Tracking in Action provides real-life examples of grantee Tracking Programs and Networks and how they have partnered with local programs and organizations to identify and combat environmental health concerns.
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*Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. The CDC has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102.