Key Public Health Data Available at New UAMS Website

By Nate Hinkel

The driving force behind the Public Health in Arkansas Community Search (PHACS) site is to rein in the abundance of available public health-related information and present it in an easy-to-use way to all Arkansans. It can be found at

“The site is a one-stop source for Arkansans looking for community specific health data,” said Martha Phillips, assistant professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at UAMS. “The website is designed primarily for community-based organizations and ordinary Arkansans who want to find health data that will help them take charge of health outcomes and risks in their communities.”

The website also holds a variety of information for researchers and policy-makers looking to make a case for issues and opportunities in their communities that are critical to promoting public health within the state.

The site is simple to use and offers a wide variety of health indicators and categories to choose. For example, said Phillips, if a community group in Crittenden County is looking for a way to make a difference in the preventive health of its residents, group members can go to the website, select their county and the “Preventive Care and Screenings” topic, and then choose from several health indicators to find statistics. If they choose “Percent of Elderly With No Flu Shot,” they’d find that 52.9 percent of elderly residents in that county did not get a flu shot and that it was the lowest ranked in the state. That pinpoints a direct need for improvement in that particular health indicator.

The user could then click a link to a map of Arkansas, and by mousing over each county, reveal its percentage of elderly residents not receiving flu shots.

“That’s just one of thousands of combinations that can be accessed,” Phillips said

While there is no limit to the categories and health indicators that will be continually added to the website, it initially offers 100 health indicators in the following categories:

• Demographics: includes data such as population by race and age

• Social Environment: includes data such as income, unemployment and education

• Access to Health Care: includes factors such as number of doctors, dentists and hospitals within each county

• Behavior Risks: includes risk factor information such as number of smokers, binge drinking, and teen drug use

• Preventive Care and Screenings: includes information about preventive care such as women receiving pap tests and mammograms

• Health Outcomes and Mortality: includes mortality rates and information about individuals with diabetes and heart disease

“There are already plans in place for the evolution of this site, including offering a Spanish language option, adding more health indicators and developing ways to present greater amounts of information in even more useful ways,” Phillips said. “This is a clearinghouse of public health data that can be of value to all Arkansans and their communities.”

The website is developed in partnership with the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities, the Arkansas Prevention Research Center and the Arkansas Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or