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Building GIS Capacity in State/Local Health Departments

Goals and Objectives

The objectives of this project are twofold:

  • To build capacity in health departments (HDs) to use GIS to improve heart disease and stroke prevention and treatment programs and policies.
  • To develop guidelines for developing GIS capacity in HDs across the country.

This project brings together the Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) and HDs in a collaborative partnership under the advice and guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD).

Project Overview
HDs were competitively selected for participation in this project. Selection of HDs was based on several components including: knowledge of current GIS capacity, awareness of available data, vision, potential for collaboration, and project commitment. Special consideration was given to the potential for significant impact associated with the project.

The selected HDs receive a GIS needs assessment, extensive training in GIS and project development, equipment and software, and telephone-based and on-site consultation as a minimum of two GIS applications are designed, developed, and implemented. In turn, HDs commit personnel to the project, establish hardware, software and data infrastructure, define project scope, and develop and implement GIS applications.

The lessons learned from the design and implementation of GIS projects in the selected HDs will form the basis for the development of a set of guidelines for integrating GIS into program and policy decisions regarding the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke, providing guidance to other states interested in developing similar capacity.

Project Highlights

The highlights documents showcase the work of each participating HD as they use GIS and mapping techniques to advance their institutional missions.

Find Out Who's Participated in the Project

Funding Organization


  • Michele Casper, CDC
  • Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) graciously provides software grants to the state and local health departments participating in this project.

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