"It is a great limitation on history if one does not know where something happened"
Immanuel Kant, 1802
Thinking spatially has altered my lens for examining health risks. I continue to explore healthcare* themes and all of its existentialism on a blog, datadonuts.weebly.com. I recently transitioned the blog to a free platform in an effort to regain focus on my daily obligations. The audiences for ideas and engagement are slightly different between newsletter and blog but I recently decided—maybe not. For example, collectively we look for the signal among the noise. And not to be morbid, but we will all need medical intervention at one time or another.
*I stubbornly think this is one word. It is an object. Health care is not what we have here in the U.S.—we have a majority driver of the economy boasting profits and substituting ‘expanded market share’ to describe data points—not the afflicted citizens.
While writing a series of talks scheduled for this year I decided mumble | delegate | ponder is a nice home for developing and sharing what may very likely end up being content for a keynote or speaking engagement. Once upon a time my role was to demystify the complicated data stored in relational databases and clinical repositories. To do this in the absence of location intelligence and spatial analysis has evolved in my mind to be more of a fools’ errand.
“The world is a complex interconnected, finite, ecological, social, physiological economic system. We treat it as if it were not, as if it were divisible, separable, simple and infinite, our persistent intractable global problems arise directly from this mismatch.”--Donella Meadows
Looking at the world with a ‘spatial’ lens
Environmental and climate justice requires looking beyond ICD10 codes and demographic variables to explore the increased risk for poor health outcomes among certain populations.
Social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger questions if it is possible to have health in the U.S. when for-profit pharma industry sells people more drugs every single year creating one of the most medicated countries on earth. Or world peace with a backdrop of a for-profit military industrial complex. Begin to consider the perverse incentives we create that have yielded deforestation, climate change, plastic islands floating in our seas and the monetization of our offline lived experience to technology companies.—Technologic capacity creating catastrophic risk
Many of us have noticed the structural determinants and their impact on health outcomes. We can now predict with alarming accuracy how your zip code is related to your quality of life in a manner that your genetic code does not. Let’s examine how to dig a little deeper when calculating population risk. I am speaking in Charlotte in a few weeks and have started pulling together some ideas.
How to examine the built infrastructure of the communities we serve
I will show you how to access data that can answer the bigger questions of ‘where’ something happened. The image that follows will allow us to explore the predominant race living in areas of the community and where EPA pollution discharge and facility registry services are located. What members of the population are impacted?