Hot-Spotting Chronic Disease

cholera map london 1854

In 1854, John Snow helped end a cholera epidemic by mapping the disease outbreak, identifying its source, and convincing community leaders to intervene by disabling a contaminated water pump. Today, the public health tools of infectious disease surveillance, including mapping of morbidity hotspots, are increasingly being used to guide both prevention and healthcare interventions for chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma, helping public health, medical practitioners, and local community coalitions achieve optimal and equitable health outcomes for all. See our published research on local-area variation in asthma disparities, or how different communities are making more or less progress toward cancer health equity.   You can also find links to an innovative "hot-spotting" of chronic disease and excess hospital use by the Camden Coalition, or the multi-dimensional community-mobilizing programs of the Harlem Children’s Zone.