Place Studies

Imagine ~ Sustain ~ Understand ~ Engage

Tag: website

Place Studies Summer Projects: SRVCdata.org

Sam Jacobson and Yash Bhutwala created SRVCdata.org as a resource for social organizations to measure how well their programs are addressing issues in the central Susquehanna Valley. Their website includes data resources such as reports dealing with health, security, demographics, economic growth, and much more. The website also provides a trendalyzer, a visualization software that creates an animation of a plot of two different variables and then tracks them over time. Individuals can also use the website to learn more about the five counties of the Central Susquehanna Valley through the qualitative data and reports they provide.

The website allows sufficiency when trying to locate primary data relating to these counties. For although the primary data they have collected exists throughout the web, it takes much time and effort to uncover. The website pulls all this information together to make it easier for people to find, and use. Sam and Yash believe that organizations will be able to benefit from the use of this website, and it will encourage them in addressing important issues and facilitating change in these counties.

Sam and Yash are still working on further perfecting the website, and organizing the data for more sufficient and accessible usage. They believe that the website will be a useful tool to provide easy navigation and easy understanding of important information regarding the five counties in the Central Susquehanna Valley, and thereby promote change and improvement.

Place Studies Summer Projects: An Evaluation of the 2013 ACA implemation

The ACA, or Affordable Care Act, is a new national health law that has been only implemented recently. This summer, Collin Greene and Will Rappaport focused their research on an evaluation of the ACA in the central Pennsylvania region, in hopes of exposing the glitches that will make the second year of enrollment in 2014-2015 much improved.

In their pursuit of answers, Collin and Will contacted heads of organizations such as United way, Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine, PA Mental Health Association, and the Lewisburg Library, and conducted interviews in person. They found that there were many challenges in enrollment that individuals faced, such as low literacy levels, lack of transportation, lack of prior knowledge of healthcare, and distrust of the government. Their findings through these interviews facilitated their project design, and fabrication of components that will improve the educating of individuals, so that the second year of enrollment will be more sufficient.

The pair came up with ideas that they believe will improve the second year of enrollment, one of which will be pursued with the grant they were given. One idea was to set up a comprehensible and more simplistic website, tailored for those with below average reading levels. In order to educate those with a lack of knowledge of healthcare, they also suggest a video tutorial that would be presented at workshops, a project that will be initiated with the grant they received.

With their project rolling and in execution, Collin and Will believe that reaching out, and educating people on the ACA and means of enrollment will save and improve lives. While some may not believe in the ACA, the program is still out there for use, and the more people who know about it and know how to enroll, the more lives that will be saved whether they believe in it or not.

Read the report Will and Collin’s research contributed to here:  The-Central-PA-ACA-Project

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