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Posted by Allegra East on May 10, 2017

SAVI Talks! Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area

Did you know?

  • In 2016, the smoking rates of the five healthiest states ranged from 9.1-13.8%. Indiana ranks 39th with a smoking rate of 20.6%; Marion County’s smoking rate is 21.8%.
  • Maternal smoking is nearly twice as high in high tobacco access areas. 
  • Tobacco costs Indiana $6 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity.

Join us Thursday, June 29, 2017, 7:45-10:00 a.m. at WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202 for SAVI Talks!

Be the first to hear the findings from the report, Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area, a companion piece to the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health’s September 2016 Report on the Tobacco Epidemic in Marion County and Indiana! 

Retail access to various smoking products is an important consideration when discussing community action to improve a community’s health. Studies show that tobacco outlet density and proximity are linked to tobacco use–particularly in poor areas. We used socioeconomic data culled from the SAVI community information system to examine the density and proximity of tobacco outlets relative to vulnerable communities in Marion County.

Karen Comer, Director of Collaborative Research and Health Geoinformatics, The Polis Center, will present findings from the SAVI analysis of retail access in Indianapolis. Panelists for the discussion include:

  • Virginia A. Caine, MD, Director, Marion County Public Health Department
  • Claire Fiddian-Green, President and CEO, Fairbanks Foundation
  • Paul  K. Halverson, DrPH, FACHE, Professor and Founding Dean,  IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
  • Bryan Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Network

Carmel Wroth, Managing Editor, WFYI’s Side Effects Public Media, will moderate.

Sponsored by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation in partnership with the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, The Polis Center at IUPUI, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI, and WFYI.

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Posted by Allegra East on May 10, 2017

Sharon Kandris Appointed Associate Director at Polis Center

Sharon Kandris, Polis Center Associate Director

Sharon Kandris, Polis Center Associate Director

The Polis Center at IUPUI is pleased to announce that Sharon Kandris has been named Associate Director. In this role, she will lead center-wide initiatives, cultivate the development of new initiatives and project opportunities, expand community partnerships to further the Center’s mission, direct the community informatics area as a special focus of attention for the Center, address operational issues, and oversee strategic planning.

“This is an exciting time to take on fresh challenges because The Polis Center is undergoing a new strategic planning and restructuring process in order to be more responsive to community needs and to build on our many and diverse collaborative partnerships,” Kandris said. “I look forward to developing even deeper connections in our communities and helping them build a better future.”

Kandris joined The Polis Center 18 years ago, serving most recently as Director of Community Informatics.

“For more than a decade, Sharon has provided great leadership in securing grants, contracts, and scholarships for the Polis Center,” said Executive Director David Bodenhamer. “She has directed large community-based projects, fostered strong relationships with organizations in Indiana, and has been a strong advocate for community-focused change in the National Neighborhoods Indicators Partnership. She brings great talent, vision, and energy to new role, and I am delighted that she will continue to be a model servant-leader for Central Indiana.”

Kandris serves on the United Way of Central Indiana Community Impact Committee, is a partner with the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (Urban Institute, Washington, DC), is a member of the Indiana Geographic Information Council, and is a member and volunteer at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. She was named a Hoosier Fellow of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence in 2014. Kandris earned a Masters’ degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, concentrating in geographic information systems and community planning, and received a B.A. degree in geography from Northwest Missouri State University.

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Posted by Allegra East on Feb 23, 2017

IndyVitals Tool Nominated as Innovation of the Year for TechPoint 2017 Mira Awards

18th Annual Event Honors ‘the best of tech in Indiana’

IndyVitals–a digital neighborhood monitoring tool developed by The Polis Center at IUPUI in partnership with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development–has been nominated as Innovation of the Year for the 18th annual TechPoint Mira Awards presented by Angie’s List, Genesys, and Salesforce.

The Innovation of the Year Award category recognizes scientific achievements, the results of R&D efforts, and other trailblazing, market-disrupting new technologies. In particular, the technology-based innovations must have achieved a significant development milestone in 2016 and must have been primarily developed in Indiana.

TechPoint, the growth initiative for Indiana’s technology ecosystem, produces the Mira Awards each year to honor the most innovative and successful technologies and technology companies in Indiana, as well as entrepreneurs and educators. Nominees were selected by 50 independent subject matter experts who evaluated and ranked the applications. Winners will be announced during the annual Mira Awards gala at The Westin Indianapolis on April 29, 2017.

The Polis Center at IUPUI, applied for the TechPoint Mira Award Innovation of the Year category because the tool is proving to be a very useful solution for organizations from multiple sectors trying to make Indianapolis a great place to live and work. Based on the SAVI community information system, IndyVitals was created to address the challenge that various organizations have encountered in telling a common story about a particular Indianapolis neighborhood and making meaningful comparisons. Each entity sees a different version about a neighborhood from its perspective, which impacts the effectiveness of varied efforts to transform negative conditions into positive ones.

The true power of IndyVitals is its ability to coordinate actions of community partners through data. This consequently aligns diverse planning partners toward a common goal and better organizes municipal government using common “building blocks” of neighborhood geographies. The tool puts everyone on the same page, puts the data in a common framework, and simplifies access, revealing the areas of critical need and opportunity to guide more successful endeavors to develop and improve these communities.

For organizations involved in quality-of-life, social services, and economic development programming, the tool provides a common geographical approach that tells a single story. Innovation is also demonstrated by how viewers use the resulting data. The data that informs neighborhood vital indicators prompts new ways of thinking about how to solve some complex challenges, resulting in greater synergy in making Indianapolis a great place to live and work. For information on IndyVitals, visit its Nominee Page (http://bit.ly/2m0P0WE). We also encourage you to publicly vote for and share it. IndyVitals tool access is available at www.indyvitals.org.

“In just over a decade, Indiana has seen more than $6.5 billion in acquisitions and IPOs from our tech community. More recently, in 2016, two-thirds of all the venture capital dollars and three-quarters of all the deals raised in Indiana went to tech companies,” said TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier. “The Mira Awards exist to celebrate our state’s tremendous tech success stories and amplify them to media, investors and technology buyers nationwide.”

A complete list of the 2017 TechPoint Mira Awards nominees is available at www.techpoint.org/mira.

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