The Office of Data Translation (ODT) provides statistical information for needs assessment, performance management, and decision support throughout the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition (BFHN) using data analytics, survey work, and evaluation studies. ODT operates across all levels within the Bureau's Divisions and Programs.

ODT area managers and staff sit within the Bureau's Divisions and Programs. Working closely with Division Directors and Program Managers, ODT staff conduct data analysis, evaluation, needs assessment, and surveillance activities. This work advises RFR development, federal grant applications, performance monitoring, clinical research, community mobilization to broaden public awareness, establishment of strategic initiatives to address concerning and emerging trends as well as many daily functions of Bureau programs in which ODT staff operate. ODT collaborates internally with other DPH Bureaus and externally with institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March of Dimes, and local schools of public heath-particularly Boston University.


The mission of the Office of Data Translation is to optimize the health of infants, children, mothers and families in all Massachusetts communities by strengthening partnerships and translating data to action.

BFHN Programs Supported

Major Projects

  • Oral Health Practice Guidelines for Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Pregnant women are at risk of certain oral conditions such as enamel erosion, dental caries, periodontitis, gingivitis, loose teeth, and pregnancy oral tumor. While ACOG emphasizes that dental treatment is safe and desirable during pregnancy, Massachusetts PRAMS data have shown that women are less likely to report dental cleaning during pregnancy than before pregnancy. Likewise, dental caries is the number one chronic condition in children. Improving oral health care during pregnancy can reduce maternal-child transmission of decay-causing bacteria. Healthcare providers play an important role in educating, coordinating, and collaborating across professions to improve oral health care of all patients. The Massachusetts Oral Health Practice Guidelines for Pregnancy and Early Childhood have been developed to provide specific oral health care recommendations and resources for healthcare professionals caring for pregnant women and children.
  • Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal Data System (PELL): A collaboration of DPH, Boston University School of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Birth and fetal death files linked to the hospital discharge records of mother's delivery and child's birth comprise the core of this data system. Program and state agency data from Early Intervention, Birth Defects, WIC, Newborn Hearing Screening, Substance Abuse Services, and Assisted Reproductive Technology are among the selected data that are linked or in the process of being linked to the core PELL data.
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS): A population based-surveillance system designated to identify and monitor selected maternal experiences and behaviors that occur before, during, and after pregnancy as well as the child's early infancy experience. PRAMS data collection began in June 2007.
  • Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Program: A Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC) was appointed by the MDPH Commissioner in 1997 to review maternal deaths, study the incidence of pregnancy complications, and make recommendations to improve maternal outcomes and prevent mortality.

Contact Information

Hafsatou Diop, MD, MPH
Director, Office of Data Translation (ODT),
State MCH Epidemiologist, PRAMS Director,
Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
phone: 617-624-5764
fax: 617-624-6062
email: Hafsatou.diop@state.ma.us

This information is provided by the Office of Data Translation within the Department of Public Health.