Q: What is your organization’s mission?
Apigian: “The Belmont Data Collaborative’s mission is to empower everyone with data through three main initiatives: Data for All, Data for Good, and Data for Diversity. This is achieved by transforming how people think about data and changing their mindset on how data can compel action.
Data for All is achieved through programming and a curriculum that teaches different levels of data literacy. Data is much more than just the hard skills of math and statistics, it is also a mindset that takes a dilemma, identifies and transforms data into insights, and turns it into action. Data for Good is using this data mindset model to tackle complex community-level problems, such as health disparities, human trafficking, and behavioral health. Finally, Data for All and Data for Good cannot be achieved unless a hard look at Data for Diversity is understood and exemplified. Everything that we do is for good within a community for a diverse population.”
Q: How are you and your organization working to improve the health and/or well-being of Nashvillians?
Apigian: “We have focused on community-level analytics, which requires aggregating publicly available location-based data (grouped by zip code, city, county, etc.) to analyze areas of risk and identify the resources or lack of resources within a community. This approach has led to the development of the Belmont Data Warehouse, which now houses publicly available from the state of Tennessee and is being published at our website – belmontdata.org.”
Q: If you could wave a magic wand and solve one public health issue right now, what would it be?
Apigian: “We have spent a lot of time analyzing community-level data and it is very apparent that health disparities within Nashville are a major issue. Health disparities refer to the significant variation in health and care between neighborhoods within a close geographic area. When looking at health disparities, whether it is diabetes or hypertension, the same three preventive measures are significant: food access, physical activity, and mental health.
All three preventive measures are important but the one that is the most glaring in Nashville is food access. 70% of Nashville is a food desert and in zip code 37208 (North Nashville), where 44.2% of adults have hypertension, there is only one grocery store and 20 fast food and takeout restaurants (click here to download our report). Therefore, in order to combat health disparities within Nashville, food access must be remedied. Good food choices will lead to healthier habits, which will help reduce diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. That is why our work with partners like NashvilleHealth and the Nashville Food Project is so important as a first step to help combat health disparities.”
Q: What are you most optimistic about right now when it comes to your organization and improving Nashville’s health?
Apigian: “Through our projects with partners like NashvilleHealth, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, and many more like-minded advocates, we have witnessed the power of data. Data is a convener, and it starts the conversations to initiate collective impact. I know that if we keep doing Data for All, Good, and Diversity, we will be able to bring community leaders together to work on hard and complex problems that will lead to improving Nashville’s health.”
Q: How can people get involved/help your cause?
Apigian: “First and foremost, data can empower everyone to help improve their community’s health. Therefore, I encourage everyone to raise their hand to help and let us empower you through data and collective impact initiatives. To learn more about what we are doing, to download our hypertension report, or to view our data through our mapping tool called RoundTable, please visit us at belmontdata.org or if you want to get involved today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
North Nashville, TN Selected as Finalist for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize
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NashvilleHealth creates a culture of health and wellbeing by serving as a convener to open dialogue, align resources and build smart strategic partnerships to create a bold plan for health and wellbeing in Nashville.Check out our latest newsletter
North Nashville, TN Selected as Finalist for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health PrizeJun 9, 2023
Partner Spotlight: Q & A with The Nature Conservancy in TennesseeMay 31, 2023
Partner Spotlight: Q & A with The Metro Nashville Public School Office of School HealthApr 28, 2023
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