GIS Capacity Building Project: 2019 Highlights

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Attendee sitting at her computer viewing a GIS map on the screen.

In 2019, the GIS Capacity Building Project provided GIS training to four state health departments selected from a competitive applicant pool.

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.

Maps Created by State Health Department Staff

Each health department selected a few maps highlighting their use of the GIS skills gained from the GIS training to address chronic disease priorities in their health departments.

Click on a state to see selected maps along with key messages and technical details. A team photo and list of health department staff who participated in the GIS trainings are also included.

Maps from State Health Departments that participated in the 2019 GIS Capacity Building Project

Participant Feedback

GIS participants in a classroom.

“Maps are powerful planning tools [for] identifying priority populations/regions.”

“I learned to think critically about what types of data are suited for GIS, […] and how to make maps that are more in depth than choropleth maps and points on a map.”


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.

  • Florida: Desiree Jonas, Rashida Marshall, Rodrigue Pierre, Edward Clark
  • Kansas: Mengyi Lo, Belle Federman, Sylvia Gulick, Shannon Lines
  • Pennsylvania: Jun Yang, Greg Elder, Adam Overmiller, Justin Lehman
  • Texas: Elizabeth Harker, Danielle Hodgson, Vineetha Duddu, Emily Johnson
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Michele Casper, Linda Schieb, Adam Vaughan, Amir Mirsajedin
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Rice University: Jocelyn Hwang, Ruiyang Li, Marie Lynn Miranda, Joshua Tootoo
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors: MaryCatherine Jones, Hannah Herold