Author: René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen

Some Things I Learned This Week

I’ve been at the annual conference of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists all this week. The first conference I attended was back in 2008, when I was working at the Maryland Department of Health as an epidemiologist doing influenza surveillance. I remember it being a lot of fun because I got to learn a lot from people who had the same interests as I did. This has not changed much since then, but things around us in the world have. Let me explain…

Looking at Unmet Health Needs in Chicago, 2013

When comparing two or more health indicators, it’s important to keep in mind that they might be on a different scale and presenting completely different information. In order to make the comparison more accurately, you can standardize the variables’ values and then create a Health Condition Index. So let’s use R and some open data to see how this can be done.

How Many Guns Were Within 1,000 Feet of Schools in Baltimore in 2018?

Modern software programs allow you to analyze spatial data quite easily, but it may be hard to replicate what you did without a detailed how-to manual and instructions you write as you go. Programming languages such as R and others allow you to write code and comments in that code, so it will be easy to follow what you did and reproduce it time after time.

The Choices You’ll Make

Life is all about making choices. Some are tough. Some are not. Some are complicated. Some are not. Some have consequences, others encourage you to keep making them. In the end, it’s up to you to grow up and accept what happens.