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2.  PREV-STAT™: Overview, cont.

GIS empowers the prevention landscape by attaching threads to statistics and tying them to precise locations on earth.  These locations can be potentially very small, like your neighborhood or the mile radius around your school or prevention program site.  GIS gives faces to the statistics by allowing you to study specific groups of people.  You can ask either “Who lives here?” or “Where do they live?”  Ask “Who lives here?” to learn about people in a specific area (e.g., your county, neighborhood or school district).  Ask “Where do they live?” to find out about a target audience you seek to serve, (e.g., single female-headed families with incomes below $30,000).  GIS in prevention helps make statistics more meaningful and persuasive.  

Purchased databases (e.g., from the U.S. Census Bureau, Applied Geographic Solutions-AGS, Claritas, Health Data Science) provide rich data at the community and neighborhood levels.  In addition, asset information is continuously being collected to reflect local resources in the form of prevention programs and other community and youth serving agencies, organization and institutions (e.g., libraries, YMCAs, and religious institutions).  Other environmental risk and protective factors represented in PREV-STAT™ include schools, alcohol outlets and locations of tobacco retailers that were found to have sold to minors, and gambling casinos.)

PREV-STAT™ enhances many areas of prevention, including needs assessment, program planning, marketing and evaluation.  It aids program planning by supporting decision-making regarding such issues as the goals of the program, the selection of the program site, program activities, transportation, and whether to provide (or what and when to serve) food or snacks.   Information on educational attainment, plus information on local preferences for reading, listening, TV viewing, and sports participation can lead to more effective marketing strategies and the selection of more appealing activities.

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