Oklahoma Public Health Environmental Tracking System
The mission of the Oklahoma Public Health Environmental Tracking System (OKPHETS) is to examine relationships between selected health problems from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) surveillance data and specific environmental hazards data from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by linking the OSDH's health data and the DEQ'S exposure data.
OKPHETS Overall Goal
To bridge the gap between health problems and environmental hazards by linking health effects data and exposure data with environmental hazard data. Methods, tools, and best practices developed through the Oklahoma project will be used to advance the development of a public health environmental tracking network at the state, local, and national level.
What is Public Health Environmental Tracking?
Public Health Environmental Tracking (PHET) is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis and interpretation of data about environmental hazards, exposure to environmental hazards, and human health effects potentially related to exposure to environmental hazards. It includes dissemination of information learned from the data, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2004.
In 2001, the Pew Environmental Health Commission issued the report “America’s Environmental Health Gap: Why the Country Needs a Nationwide Health Tracking Network.” This report noted that the existing environmental health system is not adequate and recommended the creation of a nationwide public health-environmental tracking network. The Pew report prompted Congress to provide CDC with funding of $17.5 million to begin developing a nationwide public health-environmental tracking network. CDC’s goal is to develop a tracking system that integrates data about environmental hazards and exposures with data about diseases and health outcomes.
In late 2003, Oklahoma received a grant to demonstrate the use of an EPHT system. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), developed the Oklahoma Public Health Environmental Tracking System (OK-PHETS) using health effects data from the Oklahoma Birth Defects Registry (OBDR), the Oklahoma Central Cancer Registry (OCCR), the Oklahoma Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP), and the Oklahoma Asthma Surveillance System (OASS). The DEQ currently collects data regarding public water supplies, air quality, landfills, chemical use by facilities across the state, total air emissions, lead-based paint abated structures, and hazardous waste generators.
The DEQ collects information about 14 Superfund sites and 117 voluntary cleanup and Brownfield sites. These hazards data will be used for this linkage project. The Oklahoma tracking project will be coordinated with the CDC to ensure compatibility with the developing National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network.
1000 NE 10th St., Room 710
Oklahoma City . OK 73117
Phone: (405) 271.6617
Fax: (405) 271.4892
E-Mail: Sharon Vaz, MSGC, BSN