GIS Capacity Building Project: 2017 Highlights

People in a GIS training class.

In 2017, the GIS Capacity Building Project offered standard and advanced training to health departments that were competitively selected.

Standard GIS Training: Designed for staff with little or no GIS experience

Advanced GIS Training: Designed for staff with moderate to strong GIS skills. The theme was GIS and Blood Pressure Medication Adherence

Maps Created by State Health Departments

Click on a state to see selected maps with key messages and technical details. A list of health department staff that participated in the GIS training is also included.

These maps highlight how health department staff are using their GIS skills from the training to address chronic disease priorities.

Standard GIS Training

Advanced GIS Training

Project Background

The focus of the GIS Capacity Building Project is to enhance the use of GIS within health departments to:

  • Document geographic disparities in chronic diseases
  • Inform chronic disease policies and program development
  • Enhance partnerships with external agencies
  • Facilitate collaboration among chronic disease units within a health department

Participant Feedback

GIS participants in a classroom.

“They were very systematic with how they put the classes together and organized hands on learning activities. [That helps] folks retain information and be able to walk away more confident with their ability to use it.”

“I came into the training having some experience in GIS. What it helped me do was to see the possibilities of what you could do with GIS.”


The following staff from each of the participating agencies provided valuable contributions to the success of this project’s ability to enhance the use of GIS within health departments for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases.

  • Arkansas: Lucy Im, Brandy Sutphin
  • California: Brendan Darsie, Alexandria Simpson
  • Hawaii: Alexis Barnett-Sherrill, Toby Beckelman, Amber Bowie, Vanessa Buchthal, Lance Ching, Julia Chosy, Lehua Choy, Joshua Holmes, Meghan McGurk, Blythe Nett, Danielle Schaeffner, Ranjani Starr, Leslie Yap, Kendall Zukeran
  • Maryland: Elizabeth Funsch, Lisa Gardner, Erica Smith, Alicia Vooris
  • Minnesota: Cate Bosserman, Nate Hierlmaier, Julie Hoffer, Claire Fleming, James Peacock, Emily Styles
  • Montana: Dorota Carpenedo, Carrie Oser
  • New York: Maggie Gates, Theresa Juster, Lara Kaye, Kathy Wales
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors: MaryCatherine Jones
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Rice University: Brandi Gih, Jocelyn Hwang, Ruiyang Li, Marie Lynn Miranda, Joshua Tootoo
  • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Michele Casper, Jeff Durthaler, Sharon Murphy, Matt Ritchey, Linda Schieb, Adam Vaughan