IPS to present on community transformation model, GIS as an equity indicator at the APHA’s prestigious annual conference

SAN DIEGO, October 2020 – Two Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) directors have been selected to present this year at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo, the largest and most influential gathering of public health professionals. The October event brings together the public health community to experience “robust scientific programming, networking, social events and more,” according to the event website.

Craig Reed, program director of the San Diego County Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative (BUDI) and Meredith Gibson, media director at IPS, will appear at the virtual conference on Oct. 28, 2020. This annual conference expects to draw more than 12,000 participants throughout the U.S. around this year’s theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence.”

Reed will lead two workshops, including Community Change: Utilizing a Dynamic Model for Integrated Approaches, where he will present the IPS Approach to Community Transformation (ACT) Model. The ACT Model is a framework for creating upstream community change, combining five interrelated strategies including data and research; community organizing; media advocacy; policy and systems change; and sustainability.

Reed’s other workshop is Media Advocacy: The Art of Influencing Positive Change.

“It’s important to put the tools we’ve developed and refined into the hands of others so that those working to make their communities more vibrant and better places to live have what they need to succeed,” Reed said. “We’re helping to raise the bar for public health as a whole so they look not just upstream, but at how different community conditions interact with each other.”

Gibson’s presentation is on Place Matters: Promoting Health Equity for Latino Communities in San Diego’s South Bay. It focuses on Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and how it relates to the childhood opportunity index — a measurement of the quality of resources and conditions that matter to children. It also explores the hardship index — a measurement of six socioeconomic indicators, each classified into three groups and overlaid on a layer representing the percent of Latinx population to create a dynamic data dashboard.

The resulting maps show that areas with low childhood opportunity and high hardship also have a large percentage of Latinos, and demonstrate where policy, infrastructure, and health interventions would be most beneficial.

“The conference will be a way for us to showcase our advocacy work at IPS by focusing on equity and how we are using data and technology to inform our decisions,” Gibson said. “I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate GIS into our work and using story maps and data dashboards provide excellent visualization tools to reach a broad public health audience.”

Typically, many of the conference presentations are focused on the latest research, but there aren’t that many that cover upstream prevention and what this approach looks like on the ground, according to Reed.

“To effectively change community conditions, you can’t just look at one thing like alcohol in isolation,” Reed said. “You have to understand how that item is connected to other community elements and ensure the work you’re doing takes those additional elements into consideration.”

IPS works alongside communities to build power, challenge systems of inequity, protect health and improve quality of life. IPS has a vision for safe, secure, vibrant and healthy communities where everyone can thrive.

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Paul Levikow
Institute for Public Strategies
(619) 476-9100 ext. 112