Our Story | Staff | Board




To enable communities through GIS mapping to visualize the health of their neighborhoods, identify assets and needs, and unearth opportunities for collaborative change.


COH exists to:

  • Improve Operations
  • Inform Policy
  • Encourage Research
  • Mobilize the Community

Our Process

GIS (Geographic Information System) and related spatial analysis methods have become instrumental in describing and understanding changes in a community‘s landscape, including the delivery and utilization of health care services. As visual images, maps can overcome language barriers and offer a powerful communication tool. The methods used by Children‘s Optimal Health (COH) have taken this tool to a new and exciting level of specificity that brings value to our community. COH‘s methodology is a unique and proven concept enhancing the ability of those serving children to utilize previously unavailable data to more effectively target ever decreasing resources for an ever growing population in Central Texas.

Through Data Sharing Agreements (DSAs) with over 12 Central Texas education and health entities, COH visualizes proprietary, de-identified, legally compliant data. Once concentrations, also known as “hot spots,” are identified, it is possible to create drill-down maps that take a closer look at contributing factors. Community asset data (such as food, schools, parks, healthcare, and transportation), demographic data (such as socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity), and other community characteristic data (such as crime rates) can be overlaid giving a fuller picture of both positive and negative contributing factors. The maps provide an evidence-based representation that can be easily understood by all which have been utilized to stimulate targeted action, support service providers with information that can be incorporated into grant funding proposals, and used to evaluate and monitor interventions.

As projects are completed, maps and observations are presented through community summits where action partners come together to collaboratively identify appropriate solutions and next steps for action and/or implementation.

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)

NNIP is a collaboration of the Urban Institute and local partner cities to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems. In 2011, Children‘s Optimal Health (COH) was recognized as a partner. For more information, visit here