Tag Archives: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

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 www.jointcenter.org and www.geohealthinnovations.org.

GeoHealth Innovations delivers presentation at the APHA Conference in Denver

GeoHealth Innovations delivered a presentation at the American Public Health Association in Denver, Colorado. APHA is the largest meeting of public health professionals, physicians, researchers, and educators in the world. Steve Sedlock, founder and executive director of GeoHealth Innovations, co-presented on “Community Context in Understanding Geographic Disparities in Social Determinants of Health”. The presentation was done in cooperation with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Human Needs. GeoHealth Innovations presented its geospatial analytic process in the study of health outcomes and social determinants of health, employing spatial autocorrelation and spatial regression. A copy of the presentation is available in the white paper section of our website, at www.vnghr.org.