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  • Forrest County

    The Forrest County research project consists of two pilot studies that will begin to assess and map community resources using a geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), specialized GIS software and focus group interviews. The coordinated project is being conducted by Drs. Jennifer C. Robinson and Mary W. Stewart.

    The need for community research in Mississippi is clear. Mississippi has been identified as the “sickest state in the country.” Unprecedented rates of obesity, heart disease, poor mental health and poverty threaten the state’s future. Place and context have been suggested as important determinants of individual health. Individual health behaviors; access to health-maintaining and promoting services; access to community services; and differences among communities in community assets or resources have been identified as potential contributors to health.  

    While disease prevalence for Mississippi is apparent, community health resources and access routes are not. The findings from these two studies will begin to fill the gap between health-care needs and access to health-care resources. Consequently, future studies will include improving accessibility to available resources; determining the appropriateness of available resources; and expanding these mapping techniques to other areas of Mississippi.

    For more information

    Dr. Jennifer C. Robinson and Dr. Mary W. Stewart