Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Asset Mapping to Facilitate Identification of Colorectal Cancer Screening Resources

Clement Kudzai Gwede, Beverly G Ward, John S Luque, Susan T Vadaparampil, Desiree Rivers, Dinorah Martinez-Tyson, Shalewa Noel-Thomas, Cathy D Meade


Objective: We sought to identify and map the geographic distribution of available colorectal cancer screening resources, following identification of this priority within a needs assessment of a local community-academic collaborative to reduce cancer health disparities in medically underserved communities.
Methods: We used geographic information systems (GIS) and asset mapping tools to visually depict resources in the context of geography and a population of interest. We illustrate two examples, offer step-by-step directions for mapping, and discuss the challenges, lessons learned, and future directions for research and practice.
Results: Our positive asset driven, community-based approach illustrated the distribution of existing colonoscopy screening facilities and locations of populations and organizations who might use these resources. A need for additional affordable and accessible colonoscopy resources was identified.
Conclusion: These transdisciplinary community mapping efforts highlight the benefit of innovative community-academic partnerships for addressing cancer health disparities by bolstering infrastructure and community capacity-building for increased access to colonoscopies.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *