Mapping Disparities in Healthcare Resources for Vulnerable Populations in Indiana

Authors: Jason Yang*, Ball State University, Mengxi Zhang, Ball State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Vulnerable population, healthcare resources, Indiana, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Vulnerable populations in mid-west regions including refugees, the economically disadvantaged populations, and rural residents, face many unique challenges. Their low economic status, language barriers, migration status can limit their choices of geographic location of residence, which majority of the vulnerable populations lives in suburban and rural areas where have limited healthcare resources compared with urban areas. There is strong evidence that geographical access to services has a significant effect on health care utilization. In this study, geographic disparities in the distribution of healthcare resources among vulnerable populations in Indiana are studied using innovative methodologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), bigdata, systems science models, mHealth, and digital intervention. The results will help policy makers to reduce inequality in the distribution in healthcare resources and enhance the use of the available resources by venerable populations through developing and disseminating a virtual toolbox to the stakeholders such as venerable families, government agencies (e.g., public health department and The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and community leaders.

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