Child Health Data Lab

Child Health Data Lab (CHDL)

CHDL performs epidemiological research to identify risks to healthy youth development and program evaluation to strengthen youth-serving organizations. We collaborate with state and city agencies and youth-serving organizations to define public policy solutions that support healthy development for children and youth in Chicago and Illinois, with a broader goal of improving child and adolescent well-being. At Children's Memorial Hospital, we work closely with the Injury Prevention and Research Center and the Office of Child Advocacy.

Because public health data systems in Illinois do not adequately describe risks to health development for youth, CHDL is integrally involved with building better data systems.  CHDL houses the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System, which is based on the National Violente Death Reporting System overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It brings together data from vital records, police reports, crime labs and medical examiner/coroner files to tell the fullest possible picture of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths.  These data can then be used to develop homicide and suicide prevention policies and activities.  A recent newsletter demonstrates the power of this data system.

CHDL is spearheading the development of the Illinois Health Survey, which is a new data system designed to expand youth health surveillance in Illinois.  The youth portion of the survey covers chronic conditions, learning disabilities, mental health conditions, and socio-economic status.  Findings from the pilot of the Illinois Health Survey that was conducted in Chicago in the fall of 2008 are available on our main website,

Please go to our main website,, to see additional recent newsletters and current projects.