Mapping to Amplify the Vitality of Engaged Neighborhoods

Connecting Diabetes Patients to Life Impacting Resources 

SOUL researchers, Drs. Courtney Lyles, Urmimala Sarkar, and Antwi Akom were awarded an NIH R01 grant to create digital personal health libraries for patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes that connect EHR records with real-time community driven data through Streetwyze.

The study aims to fill the following gap:  Online portals tied to healthcare systems’ (EHR) contain detailed medical information (e.g. lab test results, visit summaries), while apps help us better understand personal health records about daily health activities outside of clinics (e.g. blood sugar, diet, sleep). Data needs are poorly met by existing platforms that largely operate in silos. This study aims to answer the following question: How can we bring these two different data fields together?


Center for Birth Equity and Innovation

Combining Emerging Technology and Community-Driven Research to Promote Patient-Centered Data, Research, Training, and Policy Advocacy
UCSF SOUL Lab researchers Dr. Antwi AkomDr. Monica McLemore, and Dr. Joia Crear-Perry (National Birth Equity Collaborative, NBEC) have been funded by the Tara Health Foundation for a planning grant to launch the nation’s first Center for Birth Equity and Innovation (CBEI), and Streetwyze’s Community Wisdom, Patient Wisdom, Real Time data, Data Visualization, and Digital Health platform ( 
The Center for Birth Equity and Innovation will strive to address racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality and optimize maternal health care by developing new and emerging technologies, a community-driven research enterprise with vulnerable populations and organizations, patient-centered data, research, training, and policy advocacy.
Nationwide for every 10 pregnancy-related deaths of white women, 30-40 Black women will die from pregnancy related causes.  Put simply, when Black women and birthing people give birth, it can be a death sentence for mother and child.  These disparities persist even when you factor in age, income, and the quality of prenatal care. One of the proposed goals of the Center is to create the first national data repository with, for, and by Black women and Birthing people as well as women and families of color.  The Center for Birth Equity and Innovation will use this information to create early warning systems, data dashboards, hot-spots and cool-spots to improve patient centered care, and bridge the gap between the social, structural, and clinical determinants of health with our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

Geography of Homelesness

There has been an explosion of homelessness in the over 50 populations. SOUL researchers are collaborating with HOPE HOME to conduct structured interviews and activity mapping of ‘how, when, and why’ homeless participants navigate their local geography including: use of services, experiences on the street, connections and friendships, to re-entry into temporary and permanent housing.

Our hope is to humanize homelessness by sharing a more holistic story of how homeless populations navigation public space, utilize health care, and negotiate challenging neighborhood conditions including issues of race, class, gender, from the perspective of the homeless populations themselves.  

The Bigger Picture (TBP):

  Changing Conversations about Diabetes (Youth Speaks) 

The Bigger Picture (TBP) is­ an innovative health literacy and health communications campaign that merges the Public Art with Public Health. Unlike other health promotion efforts, however, The Bigger Picture harnesses authentic youth voices via 1st person spoken word performance to shift the focus from encouraging individual behavior change to reversing the societal forces that perpetuate diabetes, inspiring youth and key stakeholders to take action for health justice.

The Bigger Picture is collaborating with SOUL researchers to map the food, neighborhood, and school environment for young people as they navigate public and private space through interactive mapping and data visualization. SOUL researchers are using Streetwyze to help TBP evaluate students’ behaviors and attitudes in real time and to measure the following outcomes: (1) changes in Type 2 diabetes related awareness/beliefs/attitudes among students or youth poets; and (2) changes in activation with, and engagement in local policy, structural interventions in schools and neighborhoods. For more information click here.


Creating the Next Generation of Data Scientists from Low Income Communities and Communities of Color

The anemic growth in developing the Big Data workforce predicts a global talent shortage. By 2018 the number of Big Data jobs will exceed 490,000 in the United States but there will be fewer than 200,000 available data scientists to fill them. Largely missing from Big Data programs are trainings in participatory technologies, real-time data, and making data relevant to solve the most pressing problems of our nation’s most Vulnerable Populations. Without training in these critical areas, data scientists may be capable of designing algorithms that are mathematically elegant and technologically sophisticated, but do not make sense when applied to solve the challenges facing poor people and people of color.

HEART & SOUL will provide research experiences for SFSU and UCSF faculty participants in Big data, participatory technologies, health equity, as well as help prepare students from underrepresented communities to pursue Big Data, participatory technology, and biomedical research careers that improve the quality of life for Vulnerable Populations.  For more information click here.

Mapping Menthol

Tobacco marketing campaigns continue to target Vulnerable Populations.  As a result, there is a critical need to counteract predatory tobacco marketing with young people, the poor, women, African Americans, Latinx, Asian-Americans, indigenous communities, the military, the LGBT community,  and those with mental illness. The Mapping Menthol Project aims to use crowd-sourced community drive data from Streetwyze and social media to document the places where young people buy tobacco, see ads, smoke tobacco, and share stories in an effort to begin to map the “tobacco activity space” that can be used to counter market and counter narrate the tobacco industries targeted marketing campaigns.

The goal of mapping menthol project is to demonstrate how authentic community voice and local knowledge can inform education, marketing, and policy discussions regarding menthol/flavored tobacco bans in the SF Bay Area and beyond.  In addition, this project will provide important preliminary data which could support future joint research proposals addressing tobacco disparities, a stated area of interest from both TRDRP and the National Cancer Institute.  For more information click here.

Keeping Us All Whole

Agency and Social Support of African American Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among African American women and the second most common cause of death. Approximately 50% of breast cancer survivors experienced depression and anxiety in their first year diagnosis. In this study SOUL researchers (Grace Yoo and Ife Flannery) examine interview data from African American women in the Bay Area who were survivors of breast cancer.  For more info click here.

Building Power and Self-determination with Vulnerable Populations through Real-time data, location-based data, patient-centered data, social media, community-generated data that can be integrated with Big Data and predictive analytics (AI), and emerging technologies that increase Racial, spatial, and Reproductive justice.


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Photographs appearing on this site are the property of Eric Arnold, Kris Tyler and SF BUILD. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of SOUL Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.