Community Commons is a data platform that collates publicly available data and has additional data sharing and communication functionalities. In the Department of Community Health, Community Commons is one of the tools that is core to our work around community innovation. In addition to leveraging Community Commons for Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Community Health Needs Assessment, the Department of Community Health is also engaged in extensive work using Community Commons to facilitate cross-sector data sharing. With greater discipline in the application of data-driven discovery and decision making, we are engaging in and building capacity for sharing data that is focused, in order to answer specific community health-oriented questions that provide a benefit to the agencies involved.
In the first phase of this work, we have focused on three areas: (1) behavioral health, (2) housing and (3) neighborhood-centered collaboration and data-sharing. We have made strides in our ability to include local data in Community Commons and share across sectors, but we are also learning that our efforts must simultaneously be focused on building capacity building for decision-makers and leaders to use data to inform their work. We continue to replicate and expand this data-driven process in other areas while deepening the work that has begun already.
What is the goal of Community Commons?
Support place-based, cross-sector collaborations that address complex social issues by turning data into meaningful information that can inform strategic learning and drive decision-making. In the end, we hope to increase the impact of those working toward healthy, equitable, and sustainable community in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley through these collaborative efforts.