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

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Opportunities

for State and Local Health Departments

Visit us at CSTE 2018!

MaryCatherine from NACDD will facilitate a roundtable, GIS Network for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Monday, June 11, 1:00-1:45pm. Come talk with us about how you're using GIS in chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

Joshua Tootoo from Rice University will present a breakout session, Getting from Here to There: Understanding the Role of Pharmacy Accessibility in Statin Adherence, Monday, June 11, 2:25-2:30pm.

Linda Schieb from CDC will present a poster, Enhancing GIS Capacity for Chronic Disease Prevention in State Health Departments: Data, Tools, Training and Networking, Tuesday, June 12, 3:30-4:00pm.

View more GIS presentations, posters, and roundtable opportunities for the 2018 CSTE Annual Conference.

Take our 2018 Conference Survey

  Help us learn how state and local health departments are submitting GIS projects and maps for conferences and meetings by taking this short survey. We will share the results with the GIS Network. 

Submit your GIS work to Preventing Chronic Disease!

CDC’s online journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, is accepting submissions for a special collection dealing with GIS and chronic disease. This special collection highlights the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analyses to enhance chronic disease research and public health practice. We invite you to submit your GIS work for this collection of spatial perspectives in chronic disease research and practice. Manuscripts must be submitted to PCD by August 31, 2018.


Submissions may address the geospatial components of a broad range of chronic disease topics (eg, injury, mental health, maternal and child health, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, etc) and their risk factors, with application to a wide range of settings (access to care, health equity, policy and program development, evaluation, etc.).


PCD encourages a wide variety of article types, and a complete list of article types is available on the Types of Articles page on the PCD website. NACDD has prepared a template to assist members in preparing a GIS Snapshot submission.


Manuscripts will be reviewed and published on a rolling basis if accepted. After all accepted articles have been published, they will be assembled into a PDF collection accessible on the PCD website. Additional information and complete submission guidelines are available on the PCD website.


State Health Departments Learn to Use GIS to Improve Blood Pressure Medication Adherence

In February 2018, Idaho, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin participated in the 2018 Advanced Thematic GIS Training for State Health Departments: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Address Blood Pressure Medication Adherence. Two representatives of each health department’s Domain 3 medication adherence work took part in a 10-day intensive GIS training, which included two days of in-person training at Rice University in Houston, TX in February 2018.  Georgia, Maine, Michigan and Vermont will participate in the second 2018 cohort in April. The training curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of state health departments working on blood pressure medication adherence. As a result of the project, participating states will use GIS to address the unique aspects of blood pressure medication adherence in their communities and follow an Identify-Assess-Act approach for using their maps to inform policies and programs and enhance partnerships.

Products and lessons learned from the participating state health departments will be shared widely and posted to the NACDD GIS webpage

--Access the Advanced Thematic RFA Here--

The application period has closed. The RFA is for reference purposes only.

--Access the Frequently Asked Questions Here--

Listen to the recording of the Q&A session here.


Chronic Disease GIS Virtual Training Series Offered by CDC, NACDD, and Rice University

In 2017, chronic disease GIS users from around the country participated in this webinar series for health department staff interested in supplementing their GIS knowledge with new skills to support their chronic disease surveillance and prevention work. Participants were required to have a basic level of GIS skill and access to ArcGIS software. They committed to participate in a full week of activities, approximately 10 hours, including webinars. To ensure optimum learning and interaction, class sizes were capped at 25 and registration was approved on a first-come first-served basis. Demand for each session exceeded capacity and wait lists were used to fill last minute vacancies. Training participants reported high satisfaction with the virtual trainings and strong interest in seeing additional topics offered in the coming year.

Topics included the following:

-Mapping the National Provider and Plan Enumeration System (NPPES)

-Understanding geographic access through proximity based analyses

-Polishing your maps with cartographic best practices

The virtual training modules were delivered by GIS analysts with the Children's Environmental Health Initiative at Rice University.

If you would like to share ideas for future training topics, please contact MaryCatherine Jones, 


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

Other Chronic Disease GIS Resources

Please visit the CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention's GIS page to view more resources available to support GIS use in chronic disease programs. 


Past GIS Network 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) has developed an Interactive Heart Disease and Stroke Map Widget to help state and local health departments and other organizations to 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.






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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
325 Swanton Way
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone (770) 458-7400
Hours of Operation: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



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