West Virginia University School of Public Health Research Assistant Professor Brian Hendricks, PhD, recently had the opportunity to share his knowledge about using geographic information system (GIS) technology in the field of public health. Hendricks served as the guest speaker in January for the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Spatial Analysis Workgroup, a national organization consisting of state and local epidemiologists.
His presentation, titled “Inspiring Data to Action: Using Online GIS Tools to Mobilize Public Health Response” centered on utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS Online mapping and analysis platform to inform public health decision making. Hendricks also was able to provide information about how he is applying spatial analysis, with the help of ArcGIS, in his work with the Statewide Opioid Response and Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act initiatives.
During the presentation, one example Hendricks shares of using GIS in public health research is the West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responses for suspected overdose. In the example, he discusses the various sets of information and how the data may be used.
“Public health decision making is becoming increasingly complex. Integration of GIS systems and spatial analysis help inform our response leading to more empirically driven resource management and intervention,” said Hendricks.
A member of the Department of Epidemiology, Hendricks also serves as the spatial analyst for the WV Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology and Biostatistics core.
CONTACT: Nikky Luna
WVU School of Public Health
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