GIS Capacity Building Project: 2020 Highlights

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Presenters showing a chart of New Mexico diabetes prevalence map.

In 2020, 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

Here we highlight a set of maps that demonstrate how health department staff are using their new GIS skills to address chronic disease priorities. Click on each state to see selected maps with key messages and technical details.

State Health Departments that Participated in the 2020 GIS Capacity Building Project

Participant Feedback

GIS participants in a classroom.

“Time series will be particularly useful for evaluation purposes.”

“I also enjoyed learning about all of the datasets and databases that are available to the public that can help with mapping projects!”

“I thought that learning how to do a network analysis was interesting and important. A network analysis can help us to determine if our activities/services are covering the state adequately.”

 “…I am very grateful that the Rice team has offered to be available to us in the future. That’s perhaps the most important long-term aspect of this outstanding training effort!”


Thank you to all state health department staff who participated in the program. We appreciate the opportunity to share and build GIS skills, and we hope this course has enhanced your work in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases.

  • Connecticut: Lisa Budris , Susan Hewes, Stephanie Poulin, Justin Peng
  • Rhode Island: Katelyn St. Amand, Eric Lamy, Cali McAtee, Morgan Orr
  • Louisiana: Alok Bhoi, Anna Hamilton, Dayaamayi Kurimella, Terence Robinson
  • Utah: Brittany Brown, Wyatt Jensen, Caitlyn Jasumback, Nathan Malan
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Michele Casper, Linda Schieb, Adam Vaughan, Amir Mirsajedin, Aspen Flynn
  • Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Rice University: Jocelyn Hwang, Ruiyang Li, Marie Lynn Miranda, Joshua Tootoo
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors: Mary Catherine Jones, Hannah Herold