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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 The Polis Center at IUPUI on 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 Oct 10, 2016

SAVI Talks! The Changing Affordable Housing Market

John Marron, report author and former Sr. Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute, discussing affordable housing.

John Marron, report author and former Sr. Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute, discussing affordable housing.

Lower housing costs make housing more affordable. Raising income makes everything more affordable.” – John Marron

On Thursday, October 6, WFYI hosted a SAVI Talks! presentation, “The Changing Affordable Housing Market.” The event featured highlights from a soon-to-be-released report analyzing affordable housing issues in Central Indiana, helping organizations and communities to better understand the market so their efforts might more strategically impact service provision. The report is scheduled for publication in mid-November.

The SAVI Talks! program:

  • Touched upon the difference between subsidized housing and the far broader notion of housing affordability
  • Addressed how broader market forces impact affordability
  • Discussed how the squeeze on affordability impacts families and households beyond housing
  • Suggested place-oriented and people-oriented strategies to increasing affordability

Speakers included John Marron, former Senior Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute (PPI), and author of the report, “The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters,” on which he collaborated with SAVI and The Polis Center at IUPUI (his PowerPoint slides are available here); Christie Gillespie, Vice President, Community Impact, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI), who addressed the implications of housing choices for our community (her PowerPoint slides are available here); and Gail Strong, Vice President, Community Engagement, WFYI, who facilitated reflection and discussion among event participants.

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Poverty simulation exercise addressing budgeting dilemmas.

Guests also participated in a poverty simulation exercise, which gave an eye-opening experience into the hard decisions those earning  a low to moderate income have to make, especially when unexpected expenses occur such as car trouble, health care issues, and job losses. These challenges affect everything from housing choices, food, transportation, education, and healthcare options, making it nearly impossible for families to improve their lives.

Many thanks to SAVI Talks! program partners the Polis Center at IUPUI, WFYI, United Way of Central Indiana, and The City of Indianapolis, and to presentation sponsors: the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), Herman & Kittle Properties, and the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts.

SAVI Talks!, offered biannually, are informational public forums featuring report findings from a trending topic in the following categories:  health, education, basic needs, and income. Previous reports include: Worlds Apart, Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area and Trends in Crime: Does Perception Match Reality. Download here.

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