207058 Web-based GIS for Public Health Planning and Policy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:15 AM

Christine Schweidler, MPH, MA , Healthy City, Los Angeles, CA
Tahirah Farris, MPL , Healthy City Project, Los Angeles, CA
GIS mapping is increasingly being used by public health professionals, planners and policy makers to analyze community health outcomes, inform policy-making, and improve resource allocation. With a mission to facilitate data-driven planning and improve resource distribution and access among communities in need, Healthy City makes web-based GIS tools available to public health professionals, policy makers and community advocates. The comparison of available resources and demographic data often reveals disparities and gaps between available services and the needs of a specific community. By democratizing data making the same data available to community members, researchers and policy makers alike Healthy City empowers communities and arms them with the necessary data to make a case for change.

In 2008, in collaboration with several public and private health institutions in L.A. County, Healthy City was commissioned to carry out a scan of childhood obesity prevention programming throughout L.A. County. Healthy City developed an interactive data mapping/charting system to present this detailed prevention programming data against childhood obesity prevalence and risk factor data. The purpose of this scan was to assist project partners and community-based prevention projects to improve targeting of prevention programming, leverage existing resources in communities, locate gaps in services, and identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination. This presentation will discuss our preliminary outcomes and the broader implications of this ongoing initiative.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the utility of web-based GIS for visualizing health disparities and informing public health planning and policy. Describe opportunities for web-based collaboration and program coordination among private and public institutions, community services, community organizations, and schools. Discuss challenges and opportunities for GIS in public health planning and policy.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work directly on the program.
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.