Health info tool for media launches June 8

Free offers localized information and graphics for stories

Ozioma ( is a new online tool from the Health Communication Research Laboratory (HCRL) at Washington University in St. Louis designed to increase the amount of locally relevant health information in communities through media.

Ozioma, which launches June 8, allows users to search for health data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (for example, National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and more than 60 other reliable sources — all in one place.

Search results are presented as easy-to-understand sentences crafted by a team of communication and public health experts, which can be immediately included in press releases, news stories, blogs, reports, grants or policy briefs.

Writers also have access to a library of more than 500 images and a chart generator that will display the requested information in chart format.

“Having access to data from these trusted datasets and in sentence format helps writers better understand the data and may increase the likelihood of including this compelling local information into their health stories,” says Charlene A. Caburnay, PhD, research assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University.

“By increasing the local relevance and impact of these stories, we have the potential to improve the health of communities,” she says.

Ozioma, a Nigerian word for “good news,” also features an ideas section that provides a list of health-related RSS feeds, general health facts, a list of famous people associated with specific health topics, and health commemoration dates.

The application will be presented at the Institute of Medicine and U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Data Initiative Forum on Thursday, June 9. The purpose of the forum is to accelerate momentum for the public use of data and innovation to improve health.

For more information about the application, visit

A video about Ozioma is available at