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Health mapping

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OK, just putting this out there. Below is a snippet of an email conversation with someone from a local non-profit. Anyone familiar with this topical area - reproductive health? Any thoughts, suggestions, pointers?

Thank you for getting back to me. I will do my best to explain myself by email. Part of our responsibility as an organization is to collect birth and death records from hospitals in our region and supply the Department of Health & Senior Services with the information. This info ultimately creates the complete birth and death files on infants for the entire state. We have access to tremendous amounts of data, similar to the report that you provided.

Go to this website and take a look at similar data that is compiled by the CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/r...ealth/GISAtlas/. This is exactly what I would like to be able to do for the entire state of NJ by race/ethnicity. I would like to be able to take two years worth of the latest data (2002-2004 for instance) and show the infant deaths that occurred by county/municipality by race/ethnicity, by education, by income, and by marital status for starters.

Do you think the CDC’s program is sophisticated enough to be able to do this? Or, is there some other type of program that could drill down this information? I am interested in presenting very small data sets to legislators, advocates, professionals, etc. Sometimes, they need the visual, and the graphs I have been able to find/create only provide so much information.

I am not looking at them as a potential client, more likely a pro-bono gig or minimal payment. Also just curious if anyone else out there is interested in this stuff?




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There's two ways of looking at this:

1. Try out the data from the CDC and see if the client likes what you end up with in NJ...you may need to find a different source for, say, political boundaries, but see if it has the level of detail that they need.

2. If not, see if NJ has a similar tracking system in place. Most states have a Health Department and often they collect the data in the first place and submit it to federal agencies. If you're lucky, they may even have it by townships/towns/cities.

Whenever I take on a pro-bono client, I look at the situation as an excuse to play. See where the data leads you.

Hope this helps!


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