Natalie Kane, PhD
Natalie Kane, PhD
Data Scientist II
Children’s Mercy Research Institute
Research Assistant Professor
UMKC School of Medicine
Natalie Kane received her Ph.D. in Economics in 2020. She has an interdisciplinary background, with expertise in geographic information systems (GIS), data science, and health disparities research. Her research integrates address-level electronic health records (EHR), environmental exposure, and social determinants data to identify and characterize health inequities to inform targeted research and interventions. Natalie is a data scientist at the Children’s Mercy Research Institute and a Research Assistant Professor in the UMKC School of Medicine. Her current role focuses on evaluating inequity in clinical trials and in access to care, mapping spatial health inequities, and data science consulting using large de-identified health data resources for research.
Equity-Focused Data Visualizations: What Maps Can Tell Us About Disparities in Health and Research
Place is known to be an important factor related to and influencing health outcomes, access to care, and exposure to social, economic, and environmental risk factors. Historic, uneven development is known to have influenced the unjust distribution of place-based risk factors and ongoing health disparities. Health data – EHRs and study participant data – are not, however, systematically used to identify and characterize inequities in context; to inform place-based solutions or continual improvement practices aimed at eliminating disparities in socially disadvantaged communities. This presentation proposes spatial analysis and visualization of health records as an accessible and impactful way to augment current efforts to eliminate health disparities. Beginning with simple geographic inference at a relevant spatial scale, these methods are discussed as an important feature of translational health equity research and intervention, ones that lend themselves to participatory research and community engagement. This presentation focuses on recent research using the Genomic Answers for Kids (GA4K) study as an example of how place-based data can be leveraged for equity-focused quality improvement in research and in healthcare.