State Health Department Honored for Digital Excellence

Open Data Initiative and Open Data Health Site Rated Among Nation's Best

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 17, 2013) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has received a Digital Government Achievement Award for its efforts to make health data easily accessible to all New Yorkers.

The award is for DOH's Maximizing Essential Tools for Research Innovation and eXcellence (METRIX) Project, and the Department's open data site, Health Data NY. The METRIX Project, which is a multi-year, open government initiative to increase DOH transparency and facilitate the strategic release of DOH data assets to support innovation in public health service delivery, also supports 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.

In early June 2013, Commissioner Shah and DOH received the first annual Data Liberator Award, given by the national Health Data Consortium, for making valuable state health data available on Health Data NY.

"The power and potential of health data and health information technology is truly limitless," said State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. "With the help of health information technology, we will transform our health care system into an integrated delivery system that provides the best possible care and allows consumers to make informed decisions about their health. The METRIX Project and Health Data NY are key tools to achieving these goals, and I am proud to see these initiatives lauded at the national level."

The Digital Government Achievement Awards recognize outstanding agency and department websites and projects at the application and infrastructure level. All U.S. government entities at all levels are eligible. Fifty-seven awards were presented in 10 categories this year. DOH received an Honorable Mention in the "Driving Digital Government, State Government" category for the METRIX Project and Health Data NY.

The Center for Digital Government, which sponsors the awards, is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

"As technology continues to evolve, governments are finding innovative ways of utilizing new technologies to transform operations and engage with citizens," said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. "This year's winners have demonstrated the ability to adapt to the changing technology landscape, while creating first-class public and business services. Congratulations to this year's winners for their remarkable achievements."

To view data on Health Data NY, visit