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URISA's GIS in Public Health Conference

April 6, 2009
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Park Ridge, IL – URISA’s 2009 GIS in Public Health Conference (June 5-8 in Providence, Rhode Island) will offer important topics addressed by leaders in the field. Themed “Putting Health in Place with GIS”, the conference features full-day workshops, sixty-four presentations, exhibits, a poster session and networking events.

The opening keynote address will be delivered by Corrie Brown, DVM, PhD, Coordinator of International Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia and the closing keynote address will be presented by Leslie Lenert, MD, MS, FACMI, Director of the National Center for Public Health Informatics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Four preconference workshops will be presented:

1. Space-Time Analysis of Health Data
Instructed by: Marilyn O. Ruiz, University of Illinois, Urbana , IL and Geoffrey M. Jacquez, MS, PhD, President, BioMedware and Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, The University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI

2. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for Field Data Collection to Support Field Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Health, and Other Public Health Programs
Instructed by: Carl Kinkade, Enterprise Geodatabase Manager, Centers for Disease Control - National Center for Public Health Informatics, Atlanta, GA

3. Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality of Geographic Data in Health Research
Instructors: Christopher Cassa, Ph.D., M.Eng., Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Children’s Hospital Informatics Program; Ellen K. Cromley, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, The Institute for Community Research; Andrew J. Curtis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Southern California; Sam LeFevre, M.S., Environmental Epidemiology Program Manager, Utah Department of Health; Sheel Pandya, J.D., M.P.H., Policy Counsel, Health Privacy Project, Center for Democracy & Technology

4. Ecological Niche Modeling for Predicting Disease Distributions: Designing Experiments and Interpreting Results
Instructed by: Dr. Jason K. Blackburn and Mr. Timothy A. Joyner, Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology Research Laboratory, California State University Fullerton

Following are just a few of the sessions that are highlighted in this year’s educational offerings:

Pandemic/Avian Flu
Emergency planners and healthcare providers at all levels should be involved in the preparation for and response to a possible outbreak of a deadly contagion. This session will inform participants of some of the spatial challenges and solutions relevant to pandemic influenza.

· Geospatial of Avian Influenza Molecular Using Geographical Information System in Indonesia
Mujiyanto Sadali, NIHRD Unit Donggala Ministry of Health, Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia

· A Pan Flu Early Warning GIS for At Risk Populations in Rural Areas
Michael Shambaugh-Miller, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

· The Russian influenza in Sweden in 1889-90: An Example of Geographic Information
Lars Skog, Royal Institute of Technology, Stocksund, Sweden

Health Disparities and Social Factors in Health
This session addresses concepts and methods for investigating social factors in health and associated health disparities.

· Mapping Health Disparities in Cleveland, Ohio
Terese Lenahan, The Center for Community Solutions, Cleveland, OH

· Map Legend Design for Visualizing Community Health Disparities
Ellen Cromley and Robert Cromley, The Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT

· Geography of Personal Crisis - Geo-Referenced Data in Suicide Research
Radoslaw Panczak, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom

Public Health Epidemiology
Epidemiology has long been associated with geospatial and temporal factors. This session will inform participants on several relevant investigations.

· A Spatial-Temporal Model of Plague Transmission in California Ground Squirrels
Ashley Holt, University of California Berkeley, San Francisco, CA

· Space-Time Cluster Analysis of American Cutaneous Leishmaniosis in Venezuela
Eva-Mary Rodriguez, University of Central Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela

· Analyzing Risk Factors for Blastomycosis in Urban Areas
Melissa Lemke, Center for Urban Population Health, Milwaukee, WI

Cancer Geographics
GIS has been gaining much greater core importance in cancer epidemiology and related areas. Organizations like North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and the CDC cancer programs, as well as state cancer registries are formally adopting GIS as an important tool. Standards have been developed for capturing cancer patient data so that address geocoding produces a high hit rate enabling spatial epidemiology to more accurate, comprehensive and relevant. Papers in this session provide a look at how widely Cancer GIS is being pursued.

· Geographic Cluster Evaluation of Female Breast Cancer: Does Scale Matter?
Nancy Tian, Texas State University - San Marcos, San Marcos, TX

· Exploratory Temporal Visualization of Massachusetts Breast Cancer Data Archives
Alex Brown, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, Lowell, MA

· Lung, Colorectal, Prostate, Breast, Thyroid, Melanoma and Pediatric Cancer Pattern
Nicole Vanosdel, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and Standards
The Environmental Public Health Tracking Network integrates hazard monitoring, exposure, and health effects surveillance. Papers in this session provide an introduction to the network and to network standards.

· Alex Charleston, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
· Gonza Namulanda, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
· Ambarish Vaidyanathan and Nicholas Jones, Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Atlanta, GA

Complete conference details are available online: www.urisa.org/conferences/health

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