Department of Family and Social Medicine

Novel Geocoding to Track Health Outcomes

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Dr. Earle Chambers Family and Social medicine Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center Bronx NY
Earle C. Chambers, PhD, MPH

August 30, 2015 - BRONX, NY - Public housing, originally developed to provide stable housing for low-income families, has become synonymous with concentrated poverty. Programs to reduce poverty have focused on dismantling public housing to be replaced, if at all, by mixed-income-design alternatives.

Studies have shown that low-income residents living in public housing have deleterious health outcomes. It is not clear, however, how public housing residents fare on a number of cardiovascular health indicators compared to those with an alternate low-income housing arrangement. Mechanistic models that incorporate housing with neighborhood access to resources and individual behaviors are poorly defined and understood.

A study by Dr. Earle Chambers (Department of Family and Social Medicine), published in the August 2015 Journal of Urban Health, examines individual- and neighborhood- level data to address cardiovascular disease in low-income populations. Dr. Chambers' research uses a novel geocoding approach to analyze primary care electronic clinical record data in relation to housing and neighborhood level data from various sources in order to track health outcomes.

Dr. Chambers' analysis approach focuses on individual-level data within the context of the patient's housing and neighborhood environment. His long-term goal is to develop clinical and public health partnerships that will use multi-source data, including housing and neighborhood environment, to the develop interventions that target vulnerable patient populations.

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