Project Background

It is essential that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), and health center organizations have access to tools and data that can assist in evaluating the geographic reach, penetration, and growth of the Section 330-funded Health Center Program (HCP) and its relationship to other federally-linked health resources. As such, HRSA, John Snow, Inc. and the American Academy of Family Physicians have collaborated to develop a mapping and decision-support tool driven primarily from data within the Uniform Data System (UDS), previously not publicly accessible at the local level.

The UDS Mapper is designed to help inform users about the current geographic extent of U.S. federal (Section 330) Health Center Program (HCP) awardees and look-alikes, and was largely designed upon algorithms and reporting methods developed by John Snow, Inc. for BPHC-requested service area analyses. The information available in the UDS Mapper includes estimates of the collective service area of these health centers by ZCTA, including the ratio of HCP awardee and look-alike patients reported in the Uniform Data System (UDS) to the target population, the change in the number of those reported patients over time, and an estimate of those in the target population that remain unserved by HCP awardees and look-alikes reporting data to the UDS (but may be served by other providers). Due to data limitations, this tool is meant to be only one of many important resources available for exploring the extent of health centers. To inform additional exploration, users can also map U.S. Census data and see the locations of all HCP awardees and look-alikes and their service delivery sites, locations of other federally-linked providers (NHSC Sites, Rural Health Clinics, Tribal Organization Facilities, etc.), and shortage areas such as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/Ps).

Targeted Users

  • HRSA project officers
  • Primary Care Associations and State Primary Care Offices
  • Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes
  • Prospective Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes
  • Other policy makers and planners (state and local)
  • Staff from other types of health centers

Project Team Bios

HRSA and the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC): The Bureau of Primary Health Care is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The BPHC manages funding for community-based clinics across the United States through The Health Center Program.

AAFP: The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 129,000 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. The Academy was founded in 1947 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public.

HealthLandscape: HealthLandscape develops, administers, and markets geospatial analysis software tools and professional services. HealthLandscape is the division of the AAFP responsible for the successful development of the HealthLandscape mapping platform. This group has extensive experience in GIS applications relating to health centers and primary care and works closely on all projects as a team.

Robert Graham Center: The AAFP's Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care is a research center sponsored by the AAFP but operated with editorial independence. It was established a decade ago to provide evidence for policy-making and to bring a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations. The Robert Graham Center staff are experts in the use and analysis of large datasets using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and have a strong and team-based approach to GIS-related work and application development.

John Snow, Inc: John Snow, Inc. (JSI), and its nonprofit affiliate JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., are public health research and consulting firms dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities throughout the world. Since 2000, JSI staff have directed the nation-wide Uniform Data Systems (UDS) data collection and reporting projects for the Bureau of Primary Health Care's (BPHC) Health Center Program awardees and look alikes. In addition to developing reports on the programs, JSI provides analytic support to the BPHC in interpretation of BPHC program data to support management of the Health Center Program, provides training and technical assistance to awardees, and has lead the initiative to increase the value of the data to program staff and to awardees in the field through development of the awardee-specific Feedback Reports. In addition to preparing and providing the ZCTA-level UDS and Census data within the site, JSI's approach to mapping the UDS data and analytic reports to the BPHC provided the foundation for the content, design, and functionality of the UDS Mapper.

Blue Raster LLC: Blue Raster LLC is a GIS application development group skilled in rapid application development. They have more than 20 years of experience in every aspect of GIS mapping using partner solutions and web and database technologies, and developed the HealthLandscape prototype together with the investigators. The Blue Raster staff includes advanced application architects, RIA developers, and GIS analysts that are critical for developing mapping tools.