GIS Innovators in Health and Human Services Honored

Innovators in the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology in the health and human services fields received recognition from GIS software company ESRI recently. The Service, Vision, and Communication awards are announced annually during the ESRI Health GIS Conference, which was held September 21–23 this year in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Service Award was presented to Stephanie Bailey, M.D., M.S., chief of the Office of Public Health Practice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award recognizes individuals who do an outstanding job of advocating GIS technology and helping others understand its value and purpose in their everyday work.

“Stephanie Bailey is currently helping set public health practice standards and is a great friend of GIS,” said Bill Davenhall, global marketing manager for health and human services solutions, ESRI, as he presented the award. He added, “Behind every good leader are loyal followers—people who trust where the leader is heading—and she has a long history of public health competence at all levels, from the local to the state to the federal.”

Health InfoTechnics, LLC, of Brentwood, Tennessee, received the Vision Award, which honors organizations that use GIS in innovative ways. Health InfoTechnics supports health planning initiatives by providing market intelligence and support to hospitals, hospital systems, consultants, and investors. The company recently developed EnvisionHIT, a platform based on ESRI’s ArcGIS Server software, which delivers a robust, interactive, and intuitive visual environment for researching and viewing market data.

“Health InfoTechnics has taken a leap forward in meeting the community health information needs of the customers and, in doing so, has improved the spatial literacy of America’s health care system,” said Davenhall.

The Communication Award for excellence in map presentation, visualization, and communication went to three public health services professionals in Saskatoon Health Region, Canada. They are Tracy Creighton, GIS analyst, Public Health Observatory; Daphne Goodman-Eifler, supervisor of Tobacco Reduction Strategies; and Tanya Dunn-Pierce, manager, Health Promotion Department. The poster, Mapping the Availability of Tobacco Products to Youth in the City of Saskatoon, tells the story of using GIS to convert school health survey results into information that will help health officials develop policies for reducing tobacco use among middle school students. The study examined the locations of tobacco retailers near schools and used statistical analysis to identify potential correlations with student-reported smoking initiation rates. Maps displayed an overall view of the results.

For more information on GIS in health and human services and the ESRI Health GIS Conference, visit

[Source:  ESRI news release]

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