142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Geographic Information Systems As a Tool for Community-based Advocacy

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 5:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Khusdeep Malhotra, BDS, MPH , National Center for Primary Care, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Harry Heiman, MD, MPH , Satcher Health Leadership Institute;Department of Family Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Jeff Graham , Georgia Equality, Atlanta, GA
Issue- The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the state-wide impact of HIV/AIDS in Georgia using Geographic Information System (GIS), and increase legislative support for sustained ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) funding.

Description- A legislative database of House, Senate and Congressional district representatives was created using data from an advocacy organization and the state government website. HIV/AIDS data was obtained from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Prevalence rates were calculated for 2008-2010, using population estimate from the American Community Survey. These rates were then linked to the legislative database using unique identifiers. Thematic maps exploring yearly trends in HIV/AIDS by Senate and House districts were used to prepare policy briefs for ADAP Citizen Lobby Day.

Lessons Learned- A total of 32 maps by senate districts and 17 maps by house districts were created. Twenty-eight citizen advocates used the policy briefs to lobby legislators in the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Health and Human Services Committee, providing to them an accurate and timely picture of the status of HIV/AIDS and communicating the need for targeted state-wide intervention. The maps effectively focused attention on the state-wide nature of HIV/AIDS, aided an effective academic-community partnership and allowed the strategic messaging of a public health problem.

Recommendations- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful tool for identifying and communicating public health problems to policy makers. Its powerful visualization and analytic tools can be leveraged effectively to promote public health advocacy, empower the users of the information and inform policy decisions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the use of geospatial methods in promoting community based advocacy and informing decision making

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained in health policy and geographic information systems and my work focuses on exploring methods to promote public participation in GIS towards informed policy making
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.