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ASU center shares community-health project results with stakeholders

Woman speaking into a microphone.

Chinedum Ojinnaka discusses her study on the use of telemedicine during the pandemic at CHiR's stakeholder meeting on Oct. 4. Photo courtesy the College of Health Solutions

October 11, 2023

During a meeting on Oct. 4, Arizona State University’s Center for Health Information and Research, or CHiR, shared research and results from ongoing projects and initiatives at the center with community stakeholders.

“We’re very proud of our projects and the people who work in CHiR,” said Marisa Domino, executive director of CHiR and a professor at ASU’s College of Health Solutions, which houses the center. “This is a chance to showcase the skills they have and what they bring to the table."

The projects discussed focused on three different areas:

Heat and health: A presentation by Domino and CHiR data scientist Nishanth Prathap provided preliminary results on the effect of higher daily minimum temperatures on hospitalizations for certain conditions, such as substance use diagnoses. 

Preventable hospitalizations and telemedicine use during the COVID-19 pandemic: College of Health Solutions Assistant Professor Chinedum Ojinnaka discussed her study that looks at telemedicine use during the pandemic. Among the conclusions of the study was that telemedicine has the potential to increase preventive care among those with previous ambulatory-care sensitive hospitalizations (conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension). However, she discovered that racial and ethnic disparities persist in telemedicine use and must be addressed.

Youth substance-use diagnosis and treatment in Arizona: CHiR data scientist Osi Ikharebha spoke about the center’s collaboration with the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family’s Epidemiology Workgroup to support the development of public-facing dashboards on substance use and other risky behaviors among Arizona youth.

Domino said the stakeholder meetings serve a number of purposes.

“We really value the relationships we have with the providers and organizations in Arizona who work hard to provide high quality accessible health care for Arizona,” Domino said. “We meet to learn what they’re interested in and what should be on our radar screen.

“We also value the dialogue between stakeholders. I think one of the benefits our stakeholders see is a chance to meet others in the community. There have been successful collaborations and joint projects proposed because of these meetings.”

Nineteen organizations took part in the meeting, including Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Medical Board, Barrow Neurological Institute, Maricopa Association of Governments, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

In addition to the College of Health Solutions, the ASU units that participated were The Institute for Future Health, Knowledge Enterprise, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience and Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

When it was introduced in 1999, CHiR became Arizona’s first comprehensive health care data analytics repository of local health records. CHiR has served researchers and policymakers by processing big data sets since it was founded in 1999.

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