Our Blog (IUPUI)

Use SAVIDiscover More On
What's trending in your community
Posted by Allegra East on Jul 14, 2017

SAVI Online Magazine Summer 2017

The Summer 2017 issue of SAVI Online Magazine covers the influence of location on health. We will share with you highlights from four projects that incorporate statistics from the SAVI community information system. In each instance, data guide program and policy decisions that will have a significant impact on the health of a community’s residents and population health in general.

  • Parkview Health System collaborated with The Polis Center and IU’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, acting jointly as the Indiana Partnership for Healthy Communities, to identify the top health concerns in Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties.
  • The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is testing a tool that integrates medical records and neighborhood-level data to predict the best type of treatment for a patient.
  • Students in public health are using SAVI in their research to more completely understand and identify the socioeconomic determinants of health.
  • The report, Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area reveals that tobacco is more readily available for purchase in areas that already struggle with quality-of-life issues.

The SAVI Community Information System allows one to focus on a particular geography and look at a health challenge in relationship to other factors, including financial stability, education, health, and culture, among others. It also allows one to see across a larger community such as a county where a health concern is concentrated and what other challenges the population in those areas face. Armed with this information, organizations and decision makers can develop a targeted solution to increase successful intervention rates.

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading