Operated by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maine Tracking Network connects data and measures to the people that use them to improve public health in Maine, using a web-based data portal.
What is the data portal?
The data portal is a web-based tool that lets you explore some of Maine's public health data and create customized reports, using analysis and visualization tools. There are four types of reports available in the data portal: tables, charts, trend charts, and maps.
For each topic in the data portal, you can select a report type and customize your report by selecting parameters and options of interest to you. You can then export your report to use in plans, proposals, reports, or presentations. Find out more about the topics in the data portal.
Why track environmental public health?
Maine tracks certain health effects, exposures, and environmental hazards that have known relationships. We also track some health effects and environmental hazards that have suspected relationships.
By making health and environmental data available through the Maine Tracking Network, more people have access to data they need to think critically and hypothesize about health outcomes and their relationships to conditions in the environment.
Tracking environmental public health in Maine is part of a national effort to collect nationally consistent, standardized data and measures, and is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly half of the country's states are a part of this effort and together with the U.S. CDC we make up the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network.
The Environmental Health Gap
Until the creation of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network there was no comprehensive system at the state or national level to track many of the exposures and health effects that may be related to environmental hazards.
A 2000 Pew Environmental Health Commission report stated that the nation’s existing environmental health system is neither adequate nor well organized to understand the implications of the environment on public health. The report called this lack of critical knowledge, "the environmental health gap." The Pew Commission recommended the creation of a national network for tracking environmental exposures and disease.
The U.S. Congress responded in 2002 by providing funding to CDC to begin working on the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. In 2006, Congress provided funding for the implementation of the National Tracking Network. With this money, CDC funds health departments in states and cities to build local tracking networks that contribute to the national network.
The following groups have provided data for the Maine Tracking Network:
- Maine Cancer Registry
- Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
- Maine CDC Chronic Disease and Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Team
- Maine Drinking Water Program
- Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory
- Maine Health Data Organization
- Maine Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program
- Maine Office of Data, Research, and Vital Statistics
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Air Quality Division
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
There has been much collaboration among the U.S. CDC, and the states and city grantees that make up the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. The Maine Tracking Network wishes to specifically acknowledge the State of Washington Tracking Network for permission to emulate some of their “look and feel” of a data portal. We also wish to acknowledge the State of California Environmental Health Tracking Network for inspiration on an approach to interactive data querying.