Spring Colloquium: Maternal and Child Health in the Opioid Epidemic

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January 22, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Elisabeth Root, Ph.D.

Elisabeth Root, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geography
The Ohio State University

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Lecture: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Hedco Neurosciences Building Auditorium (HNB 100)

Reception: 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Hedco Neurosciences Building (HNB 107)

View the Colloquium


“Addressing maternal and child health in an opioid epidemic:

Fostering Government-University partnerships for data-driven policymaking”

Ohio’s infant mortality and preterm birth rates are some of the highest in the United States, consistently ranking 45th in the nation. Reduction in infant mortality and other birth outcomes has been complicated by the state’s opioid crisis. Nearly 25% of Medicaid mothers report some form of opioid misuse. Health agencies across the State have committed to improving maternal and child health in every racial and ethnic group, and have targeted this population for substance use prevention programs.

As part of this effort, the Ohio Departments of Health and Medicaid decided to assess the utility of data analytics and geospatial methods for informing and evaluating state and local initiatives addressing disparities in infant mortality, preterm birth, and opioid misuse. We applied a series of geostatistical methods (spatial cluster analysis Bayesian hierarchical spatial modeling) to large health claims databases linked to vital statistics records from 2008-2017.

The results from these analyses were included in a web-based geovisualization tool for use by public health officials and policy makers. The tool allows users to examine social determinants of health, health outcome data, and health resources across that state and overlay that information with statistical results indicating high risk areas. Usability tests of the tool indicated a high level of interest and excitement; users felt it was useful for examining trends in key outcomes over time and identify new areas in need of public health programming.


January 22, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Hedco Neurosciences Building Auditorium (HNB 100)

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