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Environmental Epidemiology and Analytics Section

The units housed within the Environmental Epidemiology and Analytics Section provide critical epidemiological support to surveil, identify, and respond to opportunities for public health interventions regarding opioids, emerging drugs and lead in children, water, and homes. This section also manages data and provides geospatial and visual analytics to all sections throughout DEH.   

Environmental Epidemiology and Analytics Section units include:

Data Management Unit

Marina George, Unit Manager 

The Data Management Unit is comprised of data analysts, data managers, GIS analysts, and data technicians. Common working tools include R, SAS, Qualtrics, REDCap, ACCESS, and Excel.

The unit provides support related to data system development, data management, and data analysis for health studies and exposure assessments carried out by DEH. They also develop, review, and improve data systems to capture and evaluate program and/or project-related measures, as well as critical environmental data used by DEH.

In addition, the unit conducts and interprets qualitative, descriptive, inferential, and multivariate statistical analyses and assists DEH staff in these endeavors.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit

Stuart Eddy, Unit Manager – 517-290-9737

The GIS Unit specializes in mapping, spatial analysis, and data acquisition to support environmental health decisions. The unit primarily develops reference maps and project-specific site maps that show investigation areas, sampling results, demographic information, potential pollution sources, or at-risk locations. Those maps make it easier to understand environmental health issues, design and carry out research, or plan an emergency response.

The GIS Unit will be expanding access to interactive mapping. As data gathering shifts to location-enabled mobile devices, the GIS Unit will be working on in-house maps for DEH staff that show the current status of sampling and response efforts.

In addition, the unit supports DEH with the creation of public-facing web-based maps focused on environmental health themes and DEH’s work around the state.

Lead and Other Hazards (LOH) Unit

Mary Franks, Unit Manger

The Lead and Other Hazards Unit provides epidemiological support to several lead-focused DEH programs.

The unit provides epidemiological expertise by:

  • analyzing blood lead surveillance data, with a focus on children less than 6 years of age.
  • analyzing data to identify families with children who have an elevated blood lead level (EBLL) who qualify for home abatement or remediation work.
  • analyzing environmental risk data and compiling community metrics and demographics to support the work of the CLPC program.
  • managing the surveillance of heavy metal toxicity reporting.

The unit publishes fact sheets, reports, and dashboards to disseminate analysis findings. The unit also conducts surveillance system evaluations, explores data linkages, enhances data management systems, improves data collection tools and processes, and develops new data products.

Opioid and Emerging Drugs Unit

Rita Seith, Unit Manager – 517-243-2426

The Opioid and Emerging Drugs Unit develops, maintains, and analyzes drug overdose surveillance data to inform policy and programmatic efforts. This work also includes identifying, investigating, and responding to abnormal overdose events. 

To do so, the unit uses several fatal- and nonfatal-data sources:

  • Inpatient/Outpatient Data
  • Syndromic Data
  • HL7/ADT Message Data
  • Toxicology Testing
  • Abstracted Death Records
  • Death Certificates
  • Naloxone Standing Order Data
  • Treatment Episode Dataset

The unit works to get information quickly out to partners, including Syringe Service Programs, Quick Response Teams, and Emergency Medical Services. These efforts range from a public-facing dashboard to alerts emails and Health Alert Network (HAN) messages.

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