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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - State Chronic Disease Prevention Programs

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Opportunities

for State and Local Health Departments


New Chronic Disease GIS Virtual Training Series Offered by CDC, NACDD, and Rice University-Fall 2017

This webinar series has been developed for health department staff interested in supplementing their GIS knowledge with new skills to support their chronic disease surveillance and prevention work. Each training will take place during regular business hours over the course of 1 week and will include a combination of webinars, assignments and office hours. Virtual sessions will start at 12pm ET/11am CT.

Requirements for participation

  • Employed in a state or local health department, working on chronic disease surveillance or prevention
  • Basic level of GIS skill
  • Licensed ArcGIS software (Desktop and/or ArcGIS Pro)
  • Commitment to participate in the full week of activities (approximately 10 hours, including webinars)

Participants will be enrolled first come first served until all spaces are filled, with 25 spaces per training. 

Training Format

  • Tuesday: Interactive Webinar (90 mins) and Assignment
  • Thursday: Technical Question and Answer Session (90 mins):
  • Following Monday: Assignment Due
  • Tuesday:  Group Discussion (90 mins)

Virtual Trainings

Registration links will be open the Monday 3 weeks prior to training start date at 1:30pm ET.
Brief descriptions of each training are available now in the registration links.

Tues. 10/10-Tues. 10/17

Training 1: Mapping the National Provider and Plan Enumeration System (NPPES)          

Registration is full.

--Join the wait list--

Tues. 11/7-Tues. 11/14

Training 2: Understanding geographic access through proximity based analyses

Registration opens Mon. 
10/16 at 1:30p.m. ET

Tues. 12/5-Tues. 12/12

Training 3: Polishing your maps with cartographic best practices

Registration opens Mon.  11/13 at 1:30 p.m. ET


The virtual training modules will be delivered by GIS analysts wtih the Children's Environmental Health Initiative at Rice University.

These GIS virtual trainings are part of the project funded by CDC in collaboration with NACDD and Rice University to build GIS capacity for chronic disease surveillance and prevention in state and local health departments.

We look forward to your participation. You are welcome to contact Joshua Tootoo ( with questions about these virtual trainings.


You Need a Map to Get There: Maps for Chronic Disease Programs and Policies

View slides and materials from the GIS workshop for chronic disease directors at the 2017 NACDD Chronic Disease Academy in St. Louis, MO. 

GIS Network

Do you use maps in your chronic disease prevention work? We want to hear from you!

Sponsored by the CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP), this Network provides an opportunity to facilitate networking and build connections with other chronic disease GIS users, and help state and local health departments to sustain and expand their GIS capacity.

Through the Network, GIS users can share how they are using GIS, tips for using GIS for chronic disease prevention, and questions for each other in an informal, friendly way. The Network explores tools that CDC, the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) at Rice University, and other partners have developed and keeps GIS users informed about pertinent webinars and training opportunities. To receive email communications about GIS Network activities, please contact


Past GIS Webinars

GIS Network Peer Exchange Webinar (June 2017) - Facilitated by MaryCatherine Jones, this CDC/NACDD webinar featured a State Health Improvement Partnership (Cate Bosserman, MN), another that demonstrates the use of maps to enhance cancer screening (James Kelley, MS), and a third that highlights Diabetes Prevention Programs (Dorota Carpenedo, MT). View the recording.

Top Tips for Beautiful, Informative Maps Webinar (April 2017) - Facilitated by MaryCatherine Jones, this CDC/NACDD webinar includes a presentation from CDC's Sharon Murphy on how to create clear, easy-to-read and effective GIS maps.

   Webinar recording
   Webinar slides
   Handout: Cartographic Guidelines for Public Health
   Handout: Step by Step Guide

Data Visualization Webinar (January 2017) - Facilitated by MaryCatherine Jones, NACDD and CDC hosted this 1305/1422 Epidemiology and Surveillance and GIS Network webinar on data visualization featuring presentations by Booker Daniels and Linda Scheib from CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention on effective data visualization strategies and the CDC GIS widget for the Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke.

   Webinar recording
   Booker Daniels 
presentation slides
   Linda Schieb 
presentation slides
Infographics at CDC: A Standards Guide
Creative Brief template

CDC Map Widget for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) is excited to share the Interactive Heart Disease and Stroke Map Widget. With this widget, state and local health departments, along with other organizations, can easily display high-quality state and county-level maps of heart disease and stroke mortality on their websites. Learn more here:

500 Cities Project Initiative Website 

The 500 Cities Project interactive website allows users to retrieve, view, and explore uniformly-defined selected city and census tract-level data for the largest 500 US cities for conditions, behaviors, and risk factors that have a substantial impact on population health. The interactive mapping application also enables users to zoom in to their neighborhood and explore their local data in the larger context of their city. 

The project represents the first-of-its kind data analysis for the 500 largest American cities, and the census tracts within these cities, to identify, analyze, and report data for 27 chronic disease measures.


2017 Advanced Thematic GIS Training for State Health Departments: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Address Blood Pressure Medication Adherence

Arkansas, California, Minnesota, and Montana participated in a 10-day intensive GIS training, which will include 2.5 days of in-person training at Rice University in Houston, TX followed by map development and dissemination activities between April and June 2017. Funded by the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this advanced thematic GIS training provided an opportunity for staff from selected state health departments to develop and implement a series of projects that use GIS to address blood pressure medication adherence. 

Participants developed maps useful in highlighting and addressing the blood pressure medication adherence needs in their respective communities. These projects addressed four key areas related to blood pressure medication adherence: 

1) documenting existing geographic disparities in blood pressure medication adherence;

2) identifying gaps in clinical, community, and public health services that are important for supporting blood pressure medication adherence;

3) providing a basis for informing programs and policies related to blood pressure medication adherence; and

4) enhancing existing partnerships and facilitating new partnerships among pharmacists, physicians, hospitals, public health clinics, community health workers, and other health systems and health care organizations.

Reference documents (the application period has closed): RFA for the Advanced Thematic GIS Training and instructions.

The FAQ document (updated 1/10/17) includes questions addressed during the three Question and Answer sessions that were offered in December and January, as well as questions received by email. Please consult this document for any clarification on the RFA.

Please direct any additional questions to MaryCatherine Jones, Public Health Consultant, at











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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
2200 Century Parkway, Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone (770) 458-7400
Fax (770) 458-7401


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