High quality data in health is essential to decision making in health policy and planning. However, data is often missing or incomplete for certain populations. The Geoportal of Minority Health aims to fill these knowledge gaps and improve knowledge about health and access to health services of the Francophone minority population of Ontario. This initiative was established through funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario (MOHLTC) in 2013-2014.
The Geoportal has enabled the development of:
1 . A centralized geographic database comprising:
1) socio-economic data associated with different linguistic variables ,
2 ) data on health professionals including their ability to provide services in official language minority populations
3) national health surveys , and
4) points of health services;
2 . A geographic information system (GIS) that allows spatial analysis of data and an online mapping application. GIS allows you to create, organize and present spatially referenced data and to produce plans and maps as depicted above.
The Geoportal is an infrastructure of information, that can be used helps to improve knowledge of social and structural factors underlying health disparities that disproportionately affect minority populations. It is a base of information useful to a wide range of knowledge users: health workforce planners for minority health, LHINs, public health and community organizations as well as researchers.
Our research team recently filed a request for funding to continue work on Geoportal as a Health Observatory of Minority Health (OSM) and also aims to expand the activities of the observatory at the pan-Canadian level.
Over the last ten years, Erik Bourdon has led many initiatives to gather, analyse and disseminate health human resource information. His desire to examine population characteristics, health service utilization and health outcomes at various geographical levels motivated him to build on his background in statistics and harness the power of geographical information systems (GIS) to explore health and geography.
Primary Investigator of the Geoportal:
Dr. Louise Bouchard, professor in the University of Ottawa's Department of Sociology and Anthropology who teaches at the doctoral level in the population health program. Her current research interests involve population health, specifically the social determinants of health. She received a CIHR grant to develop research capacity (2006-2011), co-directed an interdisciplinary research network (RISF) on the state of health in linguistic minority situations together with Anne Leis and is currently developing a research program in the study of socio-environmental, cultural and structural factors that influence health disparities. Since 2009, she has directed the Réseau de recherche appliquée sur la santé des francophones de l'Ontario (RRASFO), an initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Who should attend:
Health workforce planners for minority health, LHINs, public health and community organizations and researchers interested in understanding the social and structural factors underlying health disparities that disproportionately affect minority populations.