Doctoral Student Presents at International GIS and Public Health Conference

Published: September 21st, 2013

Category: Student News

Parker HinsonBSCH Doctoral Student, Parker Hinson, MPH, is passionate about the intersection of technology and public health. Hinson has focused on Geospatial Health Analysis during his doctoral studies under the mentorship of his advisor, Dr. Moorhouse.

He recently presented his research, “Observational and geospatial analysis of distracted driving on a college campus,” at the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Geographical Information System (GIS) and Public Health conference held in Miami, FL.

The conference explores the many uses of (GIS) technologies for public health access, processes, and decision-making within the domains of public health, healthcare, and community health preparedness. It attracts an international audience of attendees with oral and poster presentations ranging from cancer screening in communities to anthrax surveillance in animal populations to incorporating GIS into mobile applications

Hinson used spatial analyses to identify specific areas on the University of Florida’s campus with the highest rates of distracted driving. He also found that among 994 cases, 13% (n=129) were observed driving while distracted (e.g., texting, eating/drinking). Moreover, males were more likely than females to be seen driving distracted.

When asked about his experience at the conference, Hinson commented,

I walked away from this conference with a better understanding and awareness of GIS utilization for public health research and community health interventions. I’m looking forward to the future of GIS technologies and its ability to make a drastic impact on the field of public health.

In addition to GIS health analysis, Hinson’s is also interested in risk-taking behaviors and technology and health. Hinson, in collaboration with Cesar Escobar-Viera and Jessica Spigner, was recently awarded the PHHP Collaboration Grant for their project, “Assessing the Acceptability of a Technology Solution to Improve Management of Mental Health Care for Adolescent and Young Adult Primary Care Patients.”

The goal of their project is to conduct a systematic health needs assessment to provide evidence for the utility of a web-based or mobile application (app) to improve the accessibility and management of mental health care for adolescent patients ages 12-17 (assessed through caregivers), patients 18-24, and Primary Care Physicians (PCPs).