GIS: Tools for Mapping Public Health

Location: Huntsville, Deerhurst Resort

Date: September 30 to October 2,  2001


This conference will examine the practical issues related to applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in a Public Health environment and will provide examples of how GIS is being used as a tool for mapping public health throughout Ontario and Canada.


  • To provide an overview and introduction to the use of GIS in public health.
  • To provide practical information regarding how to establish GIS in your work environment.
  • To provide information on statistical issues which affect the interpretation of mapping outputs.
  • To provide an opportunity for networking among epidemiologists and other professionals interested in the use of GIS in public health.
  • To provide a forum for experts and participants to exchange ideas regarding the issues, concerns, challenges and future directions of GIS in public health.

Summary Evaluation:

Eighty people attended the conference and 46 completed the evaluation. 43.5% of those who completed the evaluation were APHEO members, 32.6% APHEO affiliates and 23.9% non-members
The respondents said that the conference was very well designed and met its objectives. It was considered to be a good mix of GIS topics and provided a good introduction to the use of GIS in Public Health. Presentations were found useful in general and sessions were very highly rated. The two-day format was also recommended for future conferences.
Some respondents felt that they could have used more practical application and more tips from the trenches. Others think that future discussion on map creation and interpretation is needed. Q & A session would have been more beneficial than the panel discussion. Other suggestions were that more networking time was needed, more poster presentations, more women presenters, longer breaks and hands-on applications.
The conference rooms and the restaurants at Deerhurst Resort were very highly rated by respondents, although more time was needed to go out and enjoy resort facilities and area. Some considered the rooms to be somewhat expensive, though. The boat cruise/dinner seemed to be the biggest hit, followed by the Monday and Tuesday lunches. Attendants also said they liked the time of year for the conference, the organization, topic, boat cruise and the beautiful surroundings. Some people even said that it is the best APHEO conference.
More than one third of the respondents said that the best time of year for next year's conference would be early to mid October.
When asked where respondents would like to see the conference held next year, 11% said anywhere but Toronto. Suggestions for locations were, Niagara Falls/Niagara on the Lake, London, Southwest Ontario, Ottawa or Kingston.



Planning Committee

Salwa Bishay, Committee Chair
Evelyn Crosse 
Sherri Ennis 
Brenda Guarda 
My-Yen Quach 
Heather Schouten 
Carla Troy 

Planning Services Provided by:

Chuck E. Schouwerwou, CMP & Monique Trottier, ConferSense Planners Inc.  

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Carla Troy 
Skills Enhancement for Health Surveillance 
Centre for Surveillance Coordination, Health Canada 
Main Stats Bldg. #3, Wing 0405, P.L.#0300D,  
Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0K9 
Tel: (613) 941-8558 
Fax: (613) 941-6242

Stan Gillis 
Director of Customer Service 
Aventis Pasteur 
1755 Steeles Avenue West 
Willowdale, Ontario, M2R 3T4 
T: (416) 667-2296 / F: (416) 667-2998

Tom Abernathy, PhD 
Executive Director 
Central West Health Planning Information Network 
10 George St., #301B 
Hamilton, Ontario CANADA  L8P 1C8 
Tel: (905) 570-9952, ext. 239 / Fax: (905) 570-0974

Jason Gilmore 
Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada 
18th Floor, R.H. Coates Building 
Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6 
Tel: (613) 951-7118 
Fax: (613) 951-0792

Dave McIlhagga 
DM Solutions Group Inc. 
Suite 400, 116 Lisgar Street 
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0C2  
Tel: (613) 565-5056 / Fax: (613) 565-0925

Gilles Delisle 
Manager, Biological Products 
Wyeth-Ayerst Canada 
88 McNabb Street 
Markham, Ontario, L3R 6E6 
Tel: (905) 470-3960 / Tel: (514) 748-4052 
Fax: (905) 744-0007