Redlands, California—Jeremiah Lindemann, solution engineer at Esri, the global leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, was honored as Public Health Hero of the Year by Colorado’s Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), which serves Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. Lindemann was recognized for his advocacy for opioid abuse prevention and more compassionate ways to refer to people who are addicted to opioids.
Addiction to opioids—including heroin, morphine, and prescription pain medications—is a serious global concern. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that between 26 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. Earlier this year, US president Barack Obama announced a proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to provide assistance to people seeking help with opioid addiction.
"Jeremiah has been a strong advocate for opioid-use and overdose prevention, reducing the stigma around people who are addicted by stressing that they are people with loved ones who miss them," said John M. Douglas Jr., MD, executive director of Tri-County Health Department.
Lindemann has created a variety of Story Maps that share information and help people mourn loved ones lost to addiction and find support in local communities. These story maps are thoughtfully created web maps that provide context to the epidemic.
"These simple resource maps can be just the start in helping others understand addiction and find help," said Lindemann. "Visualizing trends provides a deeper understanding of the factors that may contribute to opioid use in a given area and the resources available to prevent and treat addiction."
To learn more about Lindemann’s work and find story maps from other agencies, read Lindemann’s post on the blog Esri Insider. For more information on how communities are using GIS for public health, visit esri.com/health.