193941 Balancing resources and needs: Using GIS to create asset maps of essential resources for Healthy Start participants in St. Louis, MO

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Grant W. Farmer, MPH , School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Melisande Leland Handrick, MPH , St. Louis County Department of Health, Clayton, MO
Kristen Peterson, BSN , School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Darcell P. Scharff, PhD , School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Jeffrey P. Mayer, PhD , School of Public Health, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Kendra Copanas, MM , St. Louis Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition, St. Louis, MO
Background: Resource inventories and needs assessments are traditional tools for aiding in community development. These approaches provide essential information necessary for designing effective community health and social programs; however, they are sometimes at odds with one another. In recent years, asset mapping has emerged as a new tool which eliminates this dichotomy. Asset mapping allows one to simultaneously assess both community resources and needs, and as such, can provide more information than resource inventories or needs assessments alone.Methods: Between August 2007 to November 2007, evaluators created a resource inventory for the St. Louis, MO Healthy Start area. Inventory data were geocoded and ArcGis 9.2 software was used to create several asset maps. Transit lines with quarter-mile and half-mile buffers were added to these maps to provide information regarding resource accessibility. Visual analysis was used to look for resource patterns and issues of access. Results: Analysis of the maps revealed several daycares, grocery stores, food pantries, thrift stores, WIC centers and Health Centers in the Healthy Start areas, but limited access to chain grocery stores, after-hours health clinics, mental health resources and homeless shelters. In addition, analysis of the transit lines showed extensive bus service within the Healthy Start Areas, but insufficient bus access to south St. Louis City and west St. Louis County. Moreover, there was insufficient access to the MetroLink light rail system.Conclusions: Asset mapping of the St. Louis, MO Healthy Start areas revealed several community strengths and community needs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the purpose of asset mapping 2. Differentiate between resource inventories and needs assessments 3. Describe how GIS technology can be used to integrate the goals of resource inventories and needs assessments 4. Identify potential uses of GIS for community evaluation

Keywords: Healthy Start, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have had experience and training using GIS technology for various public health applications, and have earned a master of public health degree with an epidemiology focus. I received the Richard S. Kurz, PhD Outstanding Student Award in 2008 and was inducted into the Saint Louis University chapter of Delta Omega.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.