About Tracking in Vermont
For decades, the United States has faced a fundamental gap in understanding how environmental contaminants affect people’s health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to close this gap by improving surveillance through the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network). The Tracking Network is a dynamic Web-based tool that, for the first time, provides health and environment data in one easy to find location.
Policy makers and public health officials can use the Tracking Network to make critical decisions about where to target environmental public health resources and interventions. Health practitioners and researchers can use the Tracking Network to learn more about health conditions related to the environment, and improve treatment plans. Anyone can use the Tracking Network to find out how the environment may be affecting them, their family’s or community’s health.
The building blocks of the national network are state and local health departments around the country that are funded to build local tracking systems. These systems supply data to the National Tracking Network and address local environmental public health concerns. The tracking programs use their networks every day to improve the health of their communities.
Why Tracking Matters in Vermont
Vermont has a reputation for having a healthy environment, but the state is not immune to hazards that threaten public health. Every year, the Vermont Department of Health handles hundreds of inquiries from the media, community organizations, researchers, and individuals about possible health threats from environmental exposures such as air pollution and drinking water contaminants. The health department began receiving funding in 2009 to build a statewide tracking network that will send data to CDC’s National Tracking Network. Local, state, regional, and national data will be available through the Vermont Tracking Network. This data will help Vermonters better understand the relationship between their environment and their health.