Data for Health: Live from Charleston

Dec 2, 2014, 6:21 PM, Posted by Renee Woodside

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had been running a five-city listening tour to learn how to better use Data for Health; the final stop was Charleston, SC, on December 11.  

While the cities we have visited have all been very different the first U.S. capital of Philadelphia to Des Moines, the corn capital; from the desert city of Phoenix to San Francisco, city by the bay—all are committed to using data and information to help improve the health of their communities.

One of the things I keep hearing is that health data needs to be communicated in a way that’s easy for a patient to interpret. I sure can relate to that! I can remember being in the hospital, on full bed rest for a week before I had my twins. And although I generally had confidence in my doctors, it was a little scary to not totally understanding why they decided to schedule my C-section early. They talked about the chances of this and the chances of that, but it was not clear to me what they were really saying, and quite frankly, in such a stressful situation, I wasn’t thinking very clearly. 

Photo of staff member Renee Woodside with her twins. Renee Woodside with her twins Maggie and Zachary

So as a patient, I’m excited to see this all unfolding. I hope that in some small way (or maybe even in a big way), it will kick-start a process to making health information, just that. Informative.

The information from the five “Learning What Works” events will inform a report that will be released in early 2015. Learn more about Data for Health and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #Data4Health.

Data for Health: Learning What Works for Charleston details:

DATE: Thursday, December 11

TIME: 9:00 a.m. — 10:30 a.m. ET


  • David Blumenthal, MD, president, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Karen DeSalvo, acting assistant secretary for health, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bernie Mazyck, president and chief executive officer, South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development
  • Ida Sim, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, University of California, and co-founder, Open mHealth
  • Lisa Wear-Ellington, chief executive officer, South Carolina Business Coalition on Health