I’m wishing everyone a 2023 filled with happiness, good luck, and the very best of health!
For me, January 1st is always a special occasion. I absolutely love the annual process of welcoming in a new year. Despite having done it 58 times, it never ceases to bring a sense of possibility and ambition to the fore. This year, I’m going to share one of my resolutions with you and invite you to join me in accomplishing a worthy goal – building and modernizing Health GIS skills.
Before we get into the specifics of this goal, I’d like to share my annual resolution process with you. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, I begin by internalizing my inner Janus. As you may know, Janus, the Roman god for which January was named, is the god of beginnings, gates, doorways, transitions, time, passages, frames and endings. He is often pictured with two faces – one that looks backward and one that looks forward. That’s exactly what I like to do.
Looking backward, I review my prior year’s resolutions – assessing my progress on each one and documenting my final conclusions. I usually achieve about 70-75% of my goals. This year, having just completed the process, I was closer to about 50%. You might not be impressed, but I’m still thrilled that I made so much progress. Did I mention that I had 40 resolutions for 2022? Completion of 20 goals is a big deal!
Looking forward, I build a series of goals that revolve around several life areas: health and personal care, financial, recreation, household, career, social/family/personal. Ultimately, I’m trying to use my goal setting to help achieve a sense of life balance while also adopting new behaviors and enriching myself. Each goal is a relatively SMART goal, meant to be measurable at the end of the year (or at some specific point during the year). It all works pretty well for me.
This year, I thought I’d add a bit of transparency to one of my career goals – building and modernizing my GIS skills. Prior to joining Esri as the Chief Medical Officer, I had great desktop GIS abilities since they were an integral part of my research and teaching program at the University of California Davis. And while I know an awful lot about GIS, constant product updates, changes, and releases requires me to also refine my GIS skills from time to time.
So here’s the goal:
Work through each lesson in the Health GIS Curriculum by August 1, 2023.
Here’s how I’ll approach it:
- Starting in January 2023, I will work through a section per month for a total of 6 months
- I will compose a monthly blog documenting my experience for each section (total of 6 blogs)
- I will also create an educational video/lecture for each section to further connect the curriculum tutorials to the needs of the health industry and post the videos in the curriculum
Those of you who know me, know that I’m passionate about my work and I strongly believe that a geographic approach to many health challenges could really change the game. However, too few epidemiologists, data scientists, health analysts, informatics professionals, CIOs and other executives know the capabilities of GIS software nor how to use it. This curriculum was meant to build those skills quickly with focused lessons using real-world scenarios. While you could take advantage of any number of opportunities to learn Health GIS – this is perhaps the most streamlined approach yet. It’s free and you can do it on your own time.
Want to join me? Completing Section 1 – Introduction to GIS Fundaments is the goal for January. The section has 10 tutorials that amount to about 8 hours of training. It’s the longest of the 6 sections in the curriculum. It’s a good thing we’re doing this first while our motivation is high! I know we can do it.
Let’s get started. I’d really love to hear from you. Are you resolving to join me in this challenge? As you go through the lessons, you can provide feedback (there is a button for that on the front page of the curriculum to make it easy). Let me know if you have suggestions to make this better or ideas for new Health GIS tutorials. I’m listening and I’ll know exactly what you’re talking about since I’m doing it too.
Here’s to advancing our Health GIS community with up-to-date technology skills. 2023 is already looking like its going to be a great year!
Happy New Year!