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The Franklin County Opioid Crisis Activity Level (FOCAL) Map: New insights into the spatial dynamics of opioid overdose events and their social determinants

Authors: Harvey Miller*, The Ohio State University, Ayaz Hyder, The Ohio State University, Lauren Southerland , The Ohio State University, Gretchen Clark Hammond , Mighty Crow Media, Adam Porr, The Ohio State University, Ashley Dundon, The Ohio State University, Jinhyung Lee, The Ohio State University, Yuchen Li, The Ohio State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Applied Geography
Keywords: GIS, opioid, public health
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is increasing recognition that the opioid crisis associates with socially and economically disadvantaged areas. Deprived neighborhoods in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio, are hard-hit by this crisis; government, community and health care organizations are struggling to respond. The Franklin County Opioid Crisis Activity Level (FOCAL) Map is a partnership among interdisciplinary researchers at The Ohio State University, community stakeholders, healthcare professionals, and the Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS), a professional organization that manages a trauma data registry for all Franklin County hospitals. The FOCAL Map provides new insights into the opioid epidemic through the use of geospatial analytics, predictive modeling and academic-community collaboration. FOCAL is a web-based system that collates and maps, on a daily basis, data on opiate overdose events from the 23 Emergency Medical System organizations in Franklin County, integrating these data with known social determinants of health including georeferenced socioeconomic, housing, crime and transportation data. The FOCAL Map achieves several goals: i) improves access to timely opioid data, allowing researchers and community health providers to determine the impact of planned interventions; ii) allows non-technical users to explore the spatial associations between opioid overdose events and the social, economic and environmental factors that may influence these events; iii) facilitates greater cooperation among university researchers, community partners and treatment providers to plan further outreach to those in neighborhoods with high demand but low access to appropriate recovery treatment services.

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