Category Archives: Health Inequality

GeoHealth Innovations and Community Health Solutions Announce the Release of the Virginia Atlas of Community Health


The Virginia Atlas of Community Health is the product of a collaborative effort between GeoHealth Innovations and Community Health Solutions with generous support from the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.  The Atlas is an online resource for community health resources and a platform for creating and interacting with a vast array of community health indicators.


The Atlas pledges to help you go “From Insight to Action” with all of the tools and data provided.  Insight is gained through accessing over 200 community health indicators areas in the Data section including adult/youth health risk, maternal and infant health, mortality, and other social determinants of health.  In the Maps section, a set of ready to go maps allows you to quickly visualize and interact with key indicators or build a custom map from the full menu of profile categories and geographic levels.

Action is taken by exploring the Actions Guides and examining issues through different lenses in Perspectives.  The Action Guides help you get started in specific topic areas and learn best practices.  Here you can apply the maps and data in meaningful ways.  Perspectives show you community health issues from a variety perspectives and aid in engaging stakeholders.

Visit the Virginia Atlas of Community Health today and move FROM INSIGHT TO ACTION!

Geospatial analysis by GeoHealth Innovations focuses on food access and the environment

Analyzing Food Access.

Over the past two months, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has release two additional community health equity reports (CHERs) for Cook County, Illinois and Bernalillo County, New Mexico. These two reports included mapping and analysis performed by GeoHealth Innovations.

To examine access to healthy food in Cook County, GeoHealth Innovations analyzed the distribution of and access to chain supermarkets and large scale independent grocers. A methodology to measure food access was developed by GeoHealth Innovations with support from VCU’s Center on Society and Health and members of the Cook County Place Matters community team. The measure was based on the inverse distance from each population weighted centroid to all categorical food vendors within the study area. An ordinary least squares regression was then used to account for influence of population density on food access. The resulting residual values were the food access index.

Using the LISA (local indicator of spatial autocorrelation) analysis tool from Arizona State University’s GeoDa software package, the association between educational attainment and food access was examined. The LISA value measured the clustering of pairs of similar attribute values. In this case, a higher LISA values reflected pairs of the lowest educational attainment and lowest food access values. A dot density overlay of racial and ethnic distribution was added to the map. Several patterns emerged and are highlighted in the Cook County report.

In Bernalillo County, thematic mapping by GeoHealth Innovations helped to bring a 22-year difference in life expectancy in census tracts across the county to light. Other thematic maps of Bernalillo County included percentage of low-birth weight infants and density of environmental hazards. The density of environmental hazards was derived from point-level data provided to GeoHealth Innovations by the Bernalillo County Place Matter team. Several types of environmental hazards were aggregated by census tract and the density of hazards per square mile was calculated.

For more information or to view the reports, visit the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies or GeoHealth Innovations.

GeoHealth Innovations’ maps and analysis help to highlight health disparities


In the first half of 2012, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released Community Health Equity Reports (CHER) for two of their PLACE MATTERS communities – San Joaquin Valley, California and New Orleans, Louisiana. Both reports include geospatial analysis and thematic mapping performed by GeoHealth Innovations.

The GeoHealth Innovations team used advanced geospatial analytic techniques – such as raster interpolation, ordinary least squares regression (OLS), geographically weighted regression (GWR), and spatial autocorrelation – in the study of eight cities and regions across the United States.

Specifically, these techniques were applied in the San Joaquin Valley, California to investigate the association between poverty and premature mortality. Overall, GeoHealth Innovations was successful in supporting the Joint Center in the development of a CHER for each PLACE MATTERS community.


For more information or to view the reports, visit the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies or GeoHealth Innovations.

GeoHealth Innovations attends congressional briefing on “Place Matters for Health” in Washington, DC

GeoHealth Innovations attended a congressional briefing on “Place Matters for Health” at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The briefing a) explored how communities shape health outcomes, b) shared research findings from work in several communities, and c) examined how policy strategies and community-oriented solutions can lead to significant gains in health outcomes. GeoHealth Innovations has been the geospatial analysis partner for the Place Matters initiative, with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies being the primary investigator. For more information on Place Matters, visit the websites at and