Our Mission is to serve as a knowledge and resource exchange for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, engaging communities in order to become resilient places that improve health and quality of life for people.

In 2015, GCCDS received funding through Louisiana Public Health Institute to launch a web-based health data platform and Healthy Communities Initiative for the three coastal counties: Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson. In April of 2016, after engaging over 40 stakeholders to inform the initiative, the Gulf Coast Community ExCHANGE was launched as a vehicle for collective health impact. The keyword-searchable website brings over 140 indicators of health and over 100 demographic data sets together with easy-to-access data visualization, tools for community assessment, and a resource library highlighting thousands of effective practices for community health, both regionally and nationwide. Our Founding Steering Committee represents a broad cross-section of the three coastal counties and has engaged in a rigorous process comparing and contrasting three area Community Health Needs Assessments, local health data, and the findings of the Plan for Opportunity: Regional Sustainability Plan for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to establish our Key Priorities around 7 Topic Areas to Impact Community Health:

  1. Transportation & Land-Use Invest in bicycle and pedestrian networks; increase access and mobility
  2. Economic & Workforce Development Improve livability, job training and related support services
  3. Housing Promote equitable, affordable housing
  4. Food Systems Increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables
  5. Environment Improve water quality
  6. Health and Wellness  Reduction in chronic illnesses and obesity
  7. Education Strengthen early childhood education and college/workforce readiness

The initiative is continuing to build momentum by increasing value in the website with new components coming soon such as an interactive map tool, the most up-to-date Social Vulnerabilities Index, and health data organized by City for each municipality on the Gulf Coast.

The cross-sector collaboration and powerful data tool combine to well-position the Healthy Communities Initiative for meaningful impact. Our goal is to affect community health outcomes through evidenced-based built projects across the coast. 

To learn more and partner with us, please contact Tracy Wyman