A collaboration between The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) – School of Public Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The environment and context where people live, work and play are increasingly recognized as key factors for overall health and wellness, including the risk of chronic disease. Within the last decade, emergent technological capacity in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial data science has resulted in a growing research community developing and applying geospatial approaches in health research and practice.
The Joint Center on Geospatial Analysis & Health (JCoGA&H), an initiative of the Cancer Prevention and Control Platform led by the Impact Evaluation Core, was created to conduct and deploy focused geospatial analysis to:
- Build consensus on shared strategic impact priorities in population health and health equity.
- Enhance access to spatial analysis essential to research, policy analysis and public health practice.
- Directly enable researchers, public health practitioners and community-based organizations in Greater Houston, across the State of Texas, and nationally to utilize spatial analysis to improve and inform their work in population health.
- Democratize geospatial data to generate synergy in geospatial data science to improve population health and address health disparities.
- Provide state-of-the-art geospatial data analysis and visualization expertise to support chronic disease prevention and control research and practice.
- Provide customized geospatial and temporal analysis to community-based organizations and build community capacity in geospatial technology.
- Establish the strategic and operational structure for a best-in-class strategic resource core in geospatial data analysis and visualization.
Engagement of community members throughout the development of JCoGA&H represents a differentiating feature of this work, as it ensures that the solutions we provide capture and present information that is relevant and accessible to interested groups who seek to address chronic disease burden, non-medical drivers of health outcomes and related health challenges.
Working in partnership with communities with limited access to services and resources for health, the JCoGA&H leverages several key networks comprised of community-based organizations, clinical providers and public health practitioners. We interact intentionally with multiple collaborators across the region and state, as well as nationally, to advance understanding and application of the environment and context where people live, work and play as key factors in understanding and transforming overall health and wellness.
Noteworthy current or recent products, analyses and collaborations include:
- Texas Dashboard for Social Vulnerability (Census Tract)
- Texas Dashboard for CDC Places Data (Census Tract)
- Multi-level Analyses for Prioritized Place-based Community Investments
- Texas Melanoma Stage at Diagnosis and Geospatial Persistent Poverty
- County-Level Social Vulnerability and Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates in the US, 2018
- Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and Factors Associated with Delayed Initiation of Treatment for Breast Cancer
- Lymphoma Clinical Trial Participant Mapping Against SDOH and Environmental Factors for Diagnosis
- Texas Health Equity Alliance for Breast Cancer
- Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Prevention Program Assessment in partnership with Texas Health Institute
For more information, please visit the JCoGA&H page on the UTHealth - School of Public Health's website.