UDS Mapper Named Best Web-based Application at International Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011

Contact: Leslie Champlin
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224

WASHINGTON — UDS Mapper(www.udsmapper.org), a geographic information system developed for the Health Resources and Services Administration by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, won first place for the Best Web-based Application during the 2011 ESRI International Users Conference in San Diego, attended by more 15,000 people.

Voting attendees selected UDS Mapper as the best online application demonstrated at the conference, after reviewing and evaluating web-based applications over three days.

“We are honored to receive this award, and particularly to have fellow GIS users and developers recognize the value and elegant design of site,” said Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH, Graham Center leader of the team that developed the application. “We are grateful to our HRSA funding partners, as well as our development partners at HealthLandscape LLC, John Snow Inc., and Blue Raster, for their shared commitment to empowering federal decision makers and communities to make informed decisions about where federal primary care resources are most needed. They share our vision for data democratization through online GIS, for increasing the impact of community health centers through more effective resource allocation, and for improving access to primary care and community health.”

UDS Mapper is an online tool that allows researchers to identify areas served by community health centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers), the change in the number of people who receive those services over time, and an estimate of places where additional services and health center expansion would be most beneficial. It allows users to visualize and understand the primary care safety net through maps, tables, and numerous data layers. Additionally, the UDS Mapper team continues to develop new analytic and reporting tools to help these understaffed clinics, as well as the state and federal officials who support them, to monitor the safety net and assess where best to deploy limited funding resources.

The tool is proving valuable to health planners as the community health centers network grows, according to Robert Phillips, MD, MSPH, director of the Graham Center.

“As we build up community health centers, policy makers and community health center officials need accurate information about the populations they serve, how well they meet that population’s needs and whether there are areas of the country that still have little or no access to health care,” said Phillips. “It’s also useful for family physicians in understanding the need in their communities and identifying how their practices might be serving those needs. UDS Mapper provides that information on a ZIP code-specific scale.”

UDS Mapper is available to anyone interested in health policy, geographic distribution of health care resources to the underserved and other issues that affect people’s access to health services. UDS Mapper was developed with funding from and in collaboration with the Health Resources Services Administration. The mapper is based on algorithms developed by John Snow, Inc.

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The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care conducts research and analysis that brings a family practice perspective to health policy deliberations in Washington. Founded in 1999, the center is an independent research unit working under the personnel and financial policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The information and opinions contained in research from the Graham Center do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the AAFP.

August 30, 2011