Community Learning Space

The infraNET Project and 
Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research
University of Waterloo

present ...

Geographic Information Systems
for Community Health


Tom Vair
Executive Director, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre


Michelle Courneene
Health Informatics Development Manager, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo

Seminar Series Sponsors
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
McKesson Information Solutions
Healthcare Information Management and Communications Canada

Presentation Archive 2008


The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) and its Community Geomatics Centre (CGC) have developed an award-winning Geographic Informatics System (GIS) application for the health and human services sector. The CGC collaborates with local agencies to improve community health by adding relevant health and social data to the community s extremely comprehensive municipal GIS dataset. This has enabled the visualization of health-related and demographic information projected onto the geography of the region and the use of this information to guide community interventions. With this tool, the CGC has tracked problems related to early childhood development, handicap accessibility, elder abuse, public safety, infection control and environmental health. Partners include the Algoma Health Unit, Child Care Algoma,
the Children s Aid Society, Sault Area Hospital, Communities Quality Improvement and Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services Administration Board. Results indicate improvements in public safety, reductions in municipal liabilities and more effective use of budgetary resources. Last year, SSMIC received ESRI s Special Achievement in GIS Award for their work in Health and Human Services. SSMIC is now working with organizations across the province on exciting GIS in Health projects.

About the Speaker

Tom Vair As SSMIC s Executive Director, Tom leads a not-for-profit organization that promotes economic diversification through information technology and knowledge-based industries. Tom is an experienced high-tech professional who worked for 10 years in Ottawa, most recently in management positions at biotechnology and Internet start-ups. He launched his career with Corel and eventually became division manager of a newly formed business unit. He holds an MBA (McMaster University) and a BA (University of Western Ontario). He is a past member of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council. Michelle Courneene As SSMIC s Health Informatics Development Manager, Michelle develops and manages strategic projects, fosters partnerships, undertakes feasibility studies within the health informatics sector and works with community and provincial partners to drive sector growth. She has worked internationally in health informatics and information technology as the Assistant Health Information Systems Project Manager and Informatics Specialist for the Ministry of Health and Social Security in Dominica and as a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and for the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States. Michelle holds an Honours BA in Psychology (University of Windsor) and a BA in Information Technology (Algoma University College).

For more information
Shirley Fenton
Managing Director, WIHIR
University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074

Seminar Hosts
This seminar is hosted by the Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research (WIHIR) and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.

The infraNET Project, initiated by the University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and Internet technologies. Its founding partners were: LivePage (now part of Oracle), MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.

We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.