The Personal Health Division within the Health Department at the Village of Skokie provides numerous services to its residents. From immunizations to testing for diabetes, the Health Department offers a wide range of clinics at affordable prices. There are however, services that the Health Department simply does not have the resources to offer.
To aid residents seeking for health services not offered at the Village, the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to provide a map of available clinics in the Greater Chicagoland area for uninsured and underinsured residents. This map is used as a brochure at the Health Department for an easy way to guide an individual to a clinic that will service their needs. The map highlights five clinics, detailing their respective addresses and where they are spatially located in the Chicagoland area. Without GIS the Health Department would not be able to provide an easy-to-read map that allows residents to choose the clinic that is closest and most convenient for them.
One of the biggest challenges for local government is determining funding that will significantly cover anticipated project costs for a particular budget year. While most of this funding can be covered by a department’s budget, additional sources of money are often needed to cover new projects or programs that come up throughout the year. Federal or state grants can typically serve as a medium for this additional funding and have become a fundamental part of most local government departments. For the City of Des Plaines IL, the Model Communities grant was a recent opportunity to receive funding for implementing city programs aimed at improving the overall health of city residents.
Supported by the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, the Model Communities Grant Program provided the city with a unique opportunity to acquire federal funding for the design and implementation of public health initiatives. Funded by a $4 million federal grant called Communities Putting Prevention to Work, the city needed to provide information, through the grant application, on why it would be an eligible candidate for part of the allotted funds.
To assist with this effort, the city’s GIS (Geographic Information Systems) department was asked to supply numerous mapping products and statistics for a wide-range of community information, including all agencies in and around the city that would benefit from the funds, the number of schools in lower income 2000 census block groups, and the percentage of minority residents within 2000 census block groups. Displaying this information through mapping products tied the statistics and numbers in the grant application to a real-world location and helped to visualize the positive impact any received funds would make.
As a result of the hard work put in by city staff members, in combination with the information and products provided from the city’s GIS, the city was recently awarded a $96,000 grant from the Model Communities program. With this money, the city hopes to supplement existing community programs and implement new ones that can help to make the city a healthier place to live.
The Village of Skokie’s Human Services Department manages a program aimed at providing reserved on-street parking for residents with special needs. This program has certain guidelines depicting how many permits can be issued along certain lengths of roadway. The ordinance states:
“The number of reserved disability parking spaces on any 1 residential street shall not exceed 25 percent of the available parking spaces on each side of a block.”
The ordinance now has a geographic reference which enables the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to get involved. The Human Services director began a dialog to see if any residential street is in violation of the existing Village Code. By plotting the location of the Reserved Residential Parking Program participants and grouping addresses within close proximity, the GIS analyzed the data and found the Village to be in compliance with the Code.
Lake Forest will have access to the web version of MapOffice™ beginning June 1st. The month of May was spent preparing the base data needed to get MapOffice™ up and running, which involved loading previous GIS data into the GIS Consortium standardized database.
MapOffice™ will provide staff and residents with information for each parcel and address in the city, which ranges from school districts and voting information to garbage pick up days. A link to the Lake County Assessor’s website for each individual address is also provided to gain further information regarding building and property dimensions, assessed value, and sales history. Tools will be available to the user to provide further analysis if needed, such as measuring and links to both Google Street View and Bing Maps Bird’s Eye View.
Information commonly used by staff to assist residents will now all be available in one place, increasing efficiency, as well as providing basic information to residents who may have otherwise had to call in to ask about in the past. Work continues on data creation for MapOffice™ Advanced, which is scheduled to be available on the City intranet by mid-June.
The year 2009 brought us the Novel Influenza A outbreak, commonly known as H1N1 or the swine flu. The Village of Skokie’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and Health Departments worked together to analyze vaccine recipients locations in proximity to the Village. Address and age information was gathered from every vaccine recipient and with this data we were able to visualize the true magnitude of the Village’s vaccination campaign. Due to the severity of the H1N1 influenza, the Village began an ambitious campaign to vaccinate all people in the priority group (39,000) who reside or go to school in the Village. During the last three months of 2009, they embarked on a vaccination campaign targeting school aged children first and then moving to other members of the priority group.
The Village's Health Department is one of six state certified local health departments in Cook County. Clinics were held in schools, daycares, and mass vaccination clinics during weekends. Due to a vaccination shortage, vaccines were given to anyone outside the Village's corporate limit ignoring jurisdictions during these mass clinics. Since this became a regional map, density was used to generalize areas of high concentration. In total, over 26,000 vaccines were given by the Village’s Health Department. Without the use of GIS, distance analysis could not have completed.
Since 2004, the gypsy moth has plagued northern Illinois, destroying oak trees in parks and recreation areas. These moths have been migrating slowly from the northern United States to the southern United States. In order to manage the gypsy moth population, the Village of Oak Brook performs aerial sprays in areas where oak trees are present. The treatment consists of a naturally occuring bacterium called Kacillus Thuringiensis (BTK). BTK is highly effective in controlling gypsy moth populations, but is not harmful to people, pets, livestock, or the environment.
The village first needed to define the boundary for each spray area using a combination of aerial imagery and parcel boundaries in Geographic Information System (GIS). Each spray area was then classified as either ”Village” or ”Forest Preserve” to determine who was responsible for the spraying. The amount of BTK required for each aerial spray was then calculated using the total acreage for each spray area. Maps were created for each individual spray area as well as a map showing the location of all the spray areas throughout the village. The maps were sent to residents in the spray areas to provide information on the location and extent of the sprays.
The map below shows each spray area along with its classification. Village spray areas include Heritage Oaks, Timber Trails, and the Bath and Tennis Club. Forest Preserve spray areas include portions of Fullersburg Woods and Yorkshire Woods. Also defined were elective spray areas or areas that contain a small number of oak trees. These areas, which are the responsibility of the village, include: Trinity Lakes, Chateaux Woods, and select locations throughout the village.
Through GIS, gypsy moth spray areas can be quickly defined, classified, and their total acreage can be calculated in minutes. Public Works staff can determine how much spray is needed and who is responsible for each spray area. Maps of the spray areas allow village residents to easily visualize the location and extent of the spray areas. This information can be used as a reference when determining spray areas for future years as well.