State Health Department Receives National Award for Making Health Care Data Easily Accessible

Commissioner Shah Accepts the First Annual Data Liberation Award during Health Datapalooza Conference in Washington, D.C.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 04, 2013) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is receiving national recognition for making valuable health data easily accessible to New Yorkers, health care providers, and health consumers through Health Data NY (

Health Data NY is the only known open data site in the U.S. devoted solely to state health data, with accompanying metadata, customized visualizations, and targeted public health messaging. The site is a key component of Governor Cuomo's Open NY Initiative (, which features a comprehensive and transparent website to help connect government on all levels with the people it serves.

State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the national Health Datapalooza in Washington D.C. on June 3, 2013, and accepted the first annual Data Liberation Award, presented by the national Health Data Consortium today. The award recognizes New York's "outstanding accomplishments in making health data publicly available and facilitating the data's use in apps, tools, and services that bring the data to life in meaningful and innovative ways."

"Access to data is a cornerstone of our efforts to reform and improve health care delivery and public health, and New York has made great strides to develop a state health data site that is the best in the nation," Commissioner Shah said. "The Data Liberation Award recognizes the leadership and commitment of Governor Cuomo to provide easy access to valuable, user-friendly data that can facilitate informed decision-making, cutting-edge research and innovation. New York is clearly demonstrating what is possible and other states are looking to emulate our efforts."

Open.NY.Gov was launched by Governor Cuomo on March 11, 2013. The initiative builds on an open data pilot project initiated by DOH through the Maximizing Essential Tools for Research Innovation and eXcellence, or METRIX, Project. METRIX, which supports Health Data NY, launched in August 2011. Health Data NY currently posts 110 data views.

At the Health Datapalooza conference, Commissioner Shah participated in a panel discussion entitled, "Data Rich, Data Poor: Leveling the Open Data Playing Field for Local and State Governments." During the discussion, he shared information on how DOH transformed an idea to create make valuable health data available to New Yorkers on a state-of-the art, easy-to-navigate open data site.

One of the unique features of New York's site is the inclusion of extensive metadata, which provides information about the health datasets. The metadata consists of overview data, data dictionaries, data collection forms and more. This greatly assists consumers, researchers, members of academia and anyone else visiting Health Data NY to understand and maximize their use of the data.

Health Data NY provides raw data, but also allows users to analyze and download health data, create their own visualizations of the data and share visualizations through social media.

To view data on Health Data NY, visit