Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Northern Kentucky Health Department

Project Goal

Northern Kentucky is experiencing a serious opioid epidemic. In 2015, Northern Kentucky, on average, lost a person to a drug overdose every 40 hrs. Nearly five times more residents were lost to drug overdoses than car accidents that year. The Heroin Impact Response Task Force (HIRT) was formed in 2013 to address the rise in heroin addiction in Northern Kentucky. HIRT is an alliance of community and public agencies with a common mission: "The people of Northern Kentucky will have access to life-saving and life-restoring resources for heroin addiction that will reduce its impact in our communities."
To complement HIRT’s work to date, to help educate the community and to help guide decisions moving forward, this report provides data on issues related to the opioid epidemic. It demonstrates the magnitude of the problem, describes community responses and offers recovery resources. It is intended to be a one-stop place for all data related to the opioid epidemic in Northern Kentucky.
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Business Problem Solved

Although there were many efforts in Northern Kentucky targeting the opioid epidemic, there was no central reporting site for data related to the crisis. Before the launch of the story map, data had to be obtained from a variety of state and local agencies, and in many cases, it wasn’t standardized or specific to the Northern Kentucky region. The story map brings together a variety of figures from many partners in the heroin response in one central location. It’s a flexible tool, allowing users to quickly view high-level data or dig deeper and look for trends in data over time or look at county or ZIP code specific measures. The ability to bring in data from different agencies and use it efficiently to demonstrate the effect the opioid epidemic has on Northern Kentucky is the true power of GIS and location intelligence.

Technology Implemented

Esri's ArcMap 10.3.1, ArcGIS Online environment, Esri Story Maps platform and Esri's Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

Development Team Biography

Ned Kalapasev, GIS Manager. Ned has over 15 years experience in GIS, database administration and spatial analysis. In his role with the Northern Kentucky Health Department, Kalapasev uses location intelligence and GIS tools to collect, analyze and map data on various public health issues. He has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of New Haven.
Debbie Young, Informatics Manager. Debbie has over 20 years experience in IT solutions, data mining and visualization. In her role with the Northern Kentucky Health Department, Young applies informatics knowledge, theories, concepts, methods and tools to ensure effective programmatic use of information and information technology to promote and protect the health of Northern Kentucky. She has a Master’s degree in Health Informatics from Northern Kentucky University.

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