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Editorial Policy

Introduction

Healthy Mendocino is an online resource through which community members and policy makers can learn about health and well-being in Mendocino County. It provides balanced information on topics including local health, local resources, promising best practices, news, and community events.

These editorial guidelines describe the site’s governing body, how content is selected and managed, and major features of the site.

Governing Body

The Healthy Mendocino Steering Committee, the governing body of Healthy Mendocino, sets policies and makes decisions about the content of the website. It works in collaboration with Healthy Communities Institute, the site developer.

Advertising Policy

No advertising is permitted on Healthy Mendocino, and none of its content represents a political endorsement by the Healthy Mendocino Steering Committee or any of its sponsors.

Community Indicator Data

The Healthy Communities indicator system provides easy access to information on health and well-being in Mendocino County in eight topic areas. The primary aims of the indicator system are to inform and facilitate positive change in our county by supporting priority-setting, decision-making, and coordination. Core indicator data are collected and reported by state and federal sources. The Healthy Communities Institute, which manages the site, updates indicators soon after they are updated by their respective data sources. The frequency and timing of the updates varies with the source.

The data sources meet the following criteria:

  • Validated methodology for data collection and analysis
  • Regular, scheduled publication of findings
  • Focus on data values for small geographic areas, such as counties and postal codes that are available for all county-level locations in the U.S or locally through our community partners

Each indicator is described, and a link is given to the source of the data and what the values mean. The value for each indicator is shown along with comparisons that provide context for the information. The comparisons show how each value compares to those in other geographic areas (the red-yellow-green gauge), how Mendocino County is changing over time (green or red up and down arrows), and how we compare to a national or state average (blue/white or tri-color gradation gauge). In addition, the website provides comparisons to Healthy People 2020 objectives. It is important to remember that even if we are doing better on some indicators than other parts of the country or state or national averages, we should still work to improve our status for all indicators.

To learn more community indicators and comparisons

Criteria and Data Standards for New Community Indicators

At present, no locally-collected data are posted on Healthy Mendocino. The Steering Committee will evaluate proposed new indicators using the following criteria:

  1. Does it add value? (Does it fill a gap? Is it a good enough proxy measure for an area for which we want an indicator? Is it better than a current indicator?)
  2. Is it scientifically valid? (Has it undergone a peer review process?)
  3. Are a value for our county and comparison data available?
  4. Can the indicator be dependably updated? (Is there the capacity for ongoing measurement?)

In addition, the Steering Committee will use these data standards to evaluate proposed new indicators:

  1. Data must be scientifically collected using quality research standards and/or be peer reviewed.
  2. Data from academic institutions or government entities is preferred
  3. Service statistics from local agencies are not typically scientifically collected data. This information can be incorporated into the site in other areas, but not usually as community indicators
  4. The source of the data is identified and if a conflict of interest could exist on the part of the data collector (for example, a commercial interest in the data), that will be clearly noted.

Promising Practices

The database of over 2,000 promising practices, articles, and literature is a national resource created and maintained by the Healthy Communities Institute. The sources include health departments, federal agencies, universities, and community organizations (not individuals without an organizational affiliation). The Institute ranks the practices as either “evidence-based,” “effective,” or “good ideas.”

Local communities have the opportunity to add local content to this section. The interventions suggested for inclusion must be community-focused and related to local health and well-being and must meet the HCI standards noted above (evidence-based, effective, or a good idea). Healthy Mendocino’s site administrator will consult with the Healthy Mendocino Steering Committee and community experts/leaders in the topic area to determine the appropriateness of adding the suggested promising practice.

Reports

The Report Center contains reports and studies by reliable sources on Healthy Mendocino topic areas. Community members may submit reports for the Steering Committee’s consideration for possible posting to the website. The reports should focus on health and well-being in Mendocino County or the region of which it is a part, and be clearly written and grounded in careful research and analysis.  

Feature Articles and Other Homepage Content

The Healthy Mendocino home page posts local monthly feature articles; important health news on our area, the state, and the nation; and featured content designed to deepen understanding of community health issues and activities. Feature articles will often link to other website contents as well as additional resources. The stories posted and/or linked on the Healthy Mendocino home page are maintained by the site administrator in consultation with the Steering Committee and other community partners.

Community Calendar

The event calendar provides a comprehensive clearinghouse for information on events in the county designed to enhance local well-being. The events must be free or be provided by a non-profit organization.  There is no advertising on the site and classes will be considered.

It is maintained by the site administrator, in consultation with the Steering Committee.

Local Resources and Services: 211

Healthy Mendocino provides a link to 211, a comprehensive directory of community services managed by the 211 Advisory Board.

Other Information and Resources

The government sites and academic centers to which links are provided contain information and data on health and human services. MedlinePlus is a public information resource maintained by the National Library of Medicine.