Lexington, KY to Use GIS to Improve City Water Quality Management

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG)  of Kentucky has selected to use Accela Automation, a web-based software, to help improve the city’s water quality management and to facilitate compliance with U.S. environmental regulations, including the EPA and the Clean Water Act (Earth Times). The idea is to use the software to “manage all activity relating to the inventory, inspection, repair and maintenance of sanitary and stormwater sewer systems, and to consolidate information that currently tracks 16,500 of records annually across twenty-two databases” (Accela Inc.).  One advantage is that there will be more efficient monitoring and reporting. The following will become accomplished more effectively:

  • “review, approve and track construction projects
  • receive, investigate and prioritize requests for service
  • generate and assign work orders and reports, and automate work scheduling
  • build an easily accessible asset library and maintenance history
  • regulate discharge of materials into water assets in order to prevent storm water pollution” (Earth Times)

Shown above is an image of an existing interactive map of Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky. “Accela GIS will help field-based inspection and maintenance teams more easily and consistently track the location and status of sanitary sewer and storm water data, further boosting preventative maintenance of critical water-quality assets.” (Accela Inc.)  To read the full article click here. To learn more about Accela GIS click here.

Sources: Earth Times, Accela Inc. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/lexington-fayette-to-augment-water-quality-management-with-accela-software,1259300.shtml

Picture taken from: http://gisweb1.lfucg.com/maps/mia/viewer.htm

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

National AIDS Program and the Virtual Leadership Development Program

“The National AIDS Program in the Ministry of Health and Social Development has partnered with managers in the public and private health sectors to participate as a team in the Virtual Leadership Development Program (VLDP) conducted by Management Sciences for Health based in Cambridge Massachusetts and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States HIV AIDS Project Unit. The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of the local healthcare systems for the development of managers that will lead with  a vision of a better future. The program, which began in early March will continue through June 11th of this year. An eleven member multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers representing the National AIDS Program, the HIV-AIDS Foundation, laboratory, pharmaceutical, management, medical specialties, and nursing services are participatins in the intiative with their regional counterparts. The teams are required to identify challenges they face on a daily basis that are preventing them from achieving results. This allows them to immediately apply the leadership and management practices they are learning in the VLDP workshops to their current work situations. It has been said that the forum has allowed for stronger collaboration between local stakeholders and regional management teams, which ultimately allows for a more effective integration of the HIV services into the primary care setting as well as implementation of our National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STIs.”

Sources/ information taken directly from: BVI News online http://bvinews.com/?p=2101

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

GIS at CDC: Heart Disease and Stroke Maps

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a new application available that maps heart disease and stroke mortality data. The data has been presented by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Using this interactive mapping application, users can create and display maps at the national, state, or county level. The information is broken out by geography, gender and ethnicity and the data represents heart disease and stroke mortality and hospitalization rates. One example is shown below: New Jersey stroke mortality rates for both genders and all races, ages 35+. To view the application, click here.

Source: CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/gis/

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

“Virtual USA Emergency Initiative”

Virtual USA is an initiative, supported by ESRI and headed by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, designed to improve decision making for all levels of homeland security practitioners. The system integrates existing resources to provide real time access to operational information from a variety of sources. This information can be fully integrated, analyzed, mapped, and disseminated for inter-agency situational awareness. Data includes: weather, traffic, infrastructure, fuel supplies, emergency shelters and medical facilities information. The idea is to promote interoperability between jurisdictions, data sharing, and inter-agency collaboration so that emergency response teams and organizations can have better preparedness, response, and coordination. So far eight states, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, have utilized this system and more states are to join in the future. To read the full article and see Virginia’s success in their utilization of Virtual USA click here.

Sources: ArcNews Online, ESRI http://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/spring10articles/virtual-usa.html

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

“Hiking for Health & History”

Middleton Massachusetts’  public health director and former conservation agent Pike Messenger have created a created a booklet, “Hiking for Health & History” for the Health and Conservation Department. This book was created with assistance from a GIS professional in order to create the trail maps based off of GPS coordinates. It contains a historical and cultural component in addition to raising awareness of obesity. The idea was to have the book’s release kick off the beginning of spring and ‘the health department’s campaign to increase physical activity in the community” (Rosen) The booklet is said to be “Not just a trail booklet but a public health awareness booklet.” (Rosen) Some of the more specific information includes: ways of encouraging people to exercise outdoors while learning about health benefits; obesity; diabetes; cultural as well as natural history; West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis; and tick-borne dieseases.

Booklet Available at: http://www.townofmiddleton.org/Pages/MiddletonMA_Health/Booklet/

Source: Sylvia Rosen, Coorespondent The Salem News online http://www.salemnews.com/punews/local_story_088000727.html#disqus_thread

Picture taken from: http://www.townofmiddleton.org/Pages/MiddletonMA_Health/Booklet/

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

World Health Organization’s ‘HealthMapper’

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a surveillance and mapping application called ‘The HealthMapper’. This application is designed to address critical surveillance information needs across infectious disease programs at national and global levels and it is customized specifically for public health users. “The system facilitates data standardization, collection and updating of data on epidemiology and on interventions and provides immediate visualization of data in the form of maps, tables and charts” (WHO).  In addition, ‘The HealthMapper’ provides a database of geographic, demographic and health information. Of this information, the location of communities, health care and education facilities, accessibility by road, access to safe water and demography are included.  Some of the infectious disease programs using the system include: Roll Back Malaria, Lymphatic filariasis Elimination, Buruli Ulcer, Guinea worm Eradication, Onchocerciasis  Control Program, and Polio Eradication. “In 2003, the system supported the implementation surveillance of HIV/AIDS/STIs, Tuberculosis, Control of Communicable Diseases in Complex Emergency Situations, Outbreak Alert and Response and Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses” (WHO). See the article and website in order to download the program.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/health_mapping/tools/healthmapper/en/index.html

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

HealthMap’s Global Disease Alert Map

HealthMap has created an interactive global disease alert map! This site maps recent food and health risks, hazardous recalls and warnings, international significance, new and ongoing outbreaks, diseases and more using icons that link to online articles and other various sources. You can zoom into any part of the world or to a particular country in the following regions: North America, Europe, Africa, East Asia, Oceania, Central Asia, South America, Middle East, or Central America/ Caribbean.  It also includes translations into seven different languages. Users are able to update by posting an article, providing an eyewitness report, leaving a voice or text message on the HealthMap Hotline, email information or update via their smartphone. Check out the interactive site by clicking here.

Source: HealthMap http://www.healthmap.org/en

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern