Loma Linda University Inaugurates New Health Geoinformatics Lab

ESRI and Loma Linda Announce Collaboration for Designing Healthy Communities

Redlands, California—December 08, 2009 —Loma Linda University (LLU) today inaugurated a center with two new computer laboratories that will be used to teach students in the health professions how to use geographic information system (GIS) technology to better understand and improve human health across the world. The Health Geoinformatics Laboratory center will provide undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on experience in applying modern information system technologies that combine maps and satellite imagery with data about the geographic locations of diseases, health care resources, and sociodemographic characteristics of communities. ESRI was represented by Jack Dangermond, founder and CEO of ESRI in the ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the state-of-the-art Health Geoinformatics Laboratory. The center is located in the university's new Centennial Complex that was recently completed at a cost of approximately $85 million.

The Health Geoinformatics Laboratory is equipped with modern GIS software including ESRI's spatial statistical tools for public health epidemiology, specialized logistical software for optimizing health care delivery, and geographic digital dashboards that enhance health informatics. LLU undergraduate students can pursue a bachelor of science degree in public health, health geographics, and biomedical data management, and graduate students can obtain certificates in health geoinformatics and specialized offerings in areas such as environmental health, global health and development, and spatial epidemiology.

University president Richard Hart, M.D., DrPH, spoke of the University's long-standing vision to produce a skilled and educated health workforce that will contribute to the enhancement of community and global health. He noted that the inclusion of the Health Geoinformatics Laboratory within this new global learning hub is a critical part of the university's objective to connect with the world and think about problems in a different way. He went on to say, "I am deeply appreciative of ESRI and their partnership with us. We are moving into a new age of information sharing, health planning, and of connecting with the world. This technology and the lab will help prepare us for that future.”

ESRI president Jack Dangermond, noting that he was born at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, thanked Loma Linda for assisting him over the years, especially when he first established ESRI. He said, "This new lab will combine great talent in health science education with emerging talent in technology in the geospatial field. We are moving from the position of using geographic information systems to describe the world to using it to help us take responsibility for the future of our world. This center will participate in that evolution of designing our future and participating in building a healthier world.”

Hart and Dangermond also announced that ESRI and LLU will jointly host the first Designing the Healthy Community international invitational symposium. The meetings are intended to bring together the best minds in public health to share new ideas about using GIS to make the world a healthier place. The inaugural event is planned for 2010 and will be held at both the Loma Linda University campus and ESRI's Redlands headquarters.

About Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist health-sciences education institution located in Loma Linda, California. It is the flagship of more than 600 hospitals and clinics and 7,000 schools operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in some 150 countries. Loma Linda University has eight schools with more than 55 programs, ranging from certificates of completion and associate in science degrees to doctor of philosophy and professional doctoral degrees. The 4,000-plus students enrolled at LLU come from more than 80 countries around the world and virtually every state in the nation. With the creation of the new Health Geoinformatics Laboratory, students will be able to pursue a bachelor of science degree in public health, health geographics, and biomedical data management as well as earn a graduate-level certificate in health geoinformatics designed to complement existing degrees or offered as professional continuing education. Specialized offerings for students include GIS for environmental health, GIS for global health and development, and spatial epidemiology. Students working toward an MBA in health administration may now earn a certificate in health geoinformatics. Students enrolled in courses may pursue careers in geospatial medicine, health resource management, environmental hazard monitoring, disaster preparedness, epidemiologic research, health care planning, and health policy analysis. For more information, visit www.llu.edu.

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. In health and human services, ESRI software is used by all 50 U.S. state health organizations, 50 percent of the world’s national health ministries, and in health organizations throughout the world, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news.


Susan Harp
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