Online Program

Evaluating Effective Vendor Service Areas For Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Clients in Arizona Utilizing Geographic Information Systems

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jonathan Davis, MS Geographic Information Systems, Tribal Epidemiology Center, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ
Mindy Jossefides, BS, RD, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
Travis Lane, Executive Management, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
Jamie Ritchey, MPH, PhD, Tribal Epidemiology Center, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
Introduction:  Convenient access to healthy food is a consistent problem that many American Indians in Arizona confront on a daily basis. Many young mothers utilize food assistance programs such as WIC to provide healthy food for their children through approved grocery stores.  However, access to stores may be limited. Utilizing GIS methodologies, this evaluation examined if the existing WIC stores are effectively serving the current ITCA WIC clients in Arizona.

Methods:  Data included 12,000 ITCA WIC clients, 136 authorized vendors, and 700 potential stores dispersed throughout the state of Arizona. All of the addresses of the current ITCA WIC clients, authorized stores, and potential stores were assigned latitude and longitude values for mapping purposes (geocoding). Then 1 and 5 mile buffers were assigned to authorized stores to determine existing service. For clients outside these service areas new stores are recommended for authorization.

Results: Overall, thirty one percent of ITCA WIC clients live within 1 mile of an authorized store and 81% of ITCA WIC clients live within 5 miles of an authorized store. The remaining 19% of ITCA WIC clients must travel from more than 5 to 50 miles to the nearest store. New stores were recommended to help meet current ITCA WIC client needs if available.

Conclusion:  Many ITCA WIC clients face challenges in accessing food. We recommend that rural ITCA WIC clients be within 5 miles of their nearest store and urban clients within 1 mile of their nearest store if possible.  

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how GIS can be used to evaluate effective vendor service for existing WIC population. Identify new vendors to meet the current needs of the WIC population. Discuss criteria for reasonable food access based on proximity.

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

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a content matter expert in Geographic Information Systems applied research methodologies.
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.