New environmental health tracking program from VDH

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 6:30 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will release a new environmental health tracking program to give people easy access to health resources.

After receiving a grant from the CDC, Virginia joins 32 other states to make an easy-to-access database for different environmental health concerns including:

  • Air quality and asthma statistics.
  • Drinking water quality and factors that could affect it.
  • Wildfire smoke events
  • and Heat advisories

Rebecca Tomazin, environmental health tracking program manager for VDH, said the new program will collect data from multiple sources and break it down into charts and visuals for people to better understand. She said easy access to data can help people make important life decisions or day-to-day decisions.

“Better access to that data is so important so that people and families can make more data-driven decisions on where they want to live and how they might spend their day depending on their own health decisions,” Tomazin said.

Tomazin said all the information is available for people to use, but it requires multiple websites and multiple databases to acquire everything. She said a central location will make it easier for both people and organizations.

“There’s a lot of different places you can go to a dashboard and learn about air quality,” Tomazin said. “What’s great about the tracking program at a national level and a state level is bringing the data all in one place so you don’t have to search for that information.”

The program is expected to start in the next couple of months. Tomazin said VDH just began discussions with partners in the community as well as other agencies across the Commonwealth.