This is a recorded presentation from the May 3, 2011 GIS and Community Health Planning Conference held at the University at Albany School of Public Health.
Presenter: Glen Johnson, New York State Department of Health
Abstract: Assessing the needs of local communities for planning teen pregnancy prevention programs has traditionally been based on the latest data on teen pregnancy rates by postal ZIP code; however, it has long been recognized that multiple indicators of risky behavior should be considered and also incorporated with much more information about community structure. This issue in part gave rise to a workgroup in the New York State Department of Health to bring together different programs that address the common goal of reducing risky adolescent/teen sexual behavior. One result is the integration of data from several sources into a common “geo”database that links these data to common units of geography like counties and ZIP codes in a way that is interactive with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
The multiple community‐level variables that are stored in the geodatabase were synthesized into one community needs index for each ZIP code through a statistical tool called “Generalized Linear Mixed Models”. This results in an estimate of teen pregnancy caseload and incidence of sexually‐transmitted diseases by ZIP code that is “riskadjusted” by underlying community variables derived from the census in a way that adjusts for spatial proximity of ZIP codes.
While a GIS plays a central role in managing and visualizing both the inputs and results of this type of community needs assessment, it can also be used to export maps for (non‐GIS) end users to visualize interactively through free virtual globe browsers.