Atlas Hands: A Timeline of the Life of Melinda Meade

As an update to our previous story about the passing of Melinda Meade, please take a few minutes to learn about her in this short documentary film about her life.

Atlas Hands

The description of the film from Savannah Ward and her Seventeenth Summer Productions is:

In loving memory of Dr. Melinda Meade, Seventeenth Summer Productions presents a timeline of the life of one of the greatest Medical Geographers. Follow Melinda’s journey, from graduating early from college, to joining the Peace Corps, and finally returning back to the United States to share her stories and lessons with students across the country. She settled in at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where for fifteen years, she held title as the only female Geographer in the department. Listen to previous students share their fondest memories of Melinda and be a part of a life that was great and taken away too soon.

12th Asian Urbanization Conference an Unqualified Success: A Report and Note of Thanks from George Pomeroy

Dear Fellow Geographers,

Back when Debarchana Ghosh was Chair, the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group had kindly provided some sponsorship funds for the recently held 12th Asian Urbanization Conference – thank you! Sponsors were fully acknowledged at the conference the funds were instrumental in having a wonderful conference.

Below my signature I have pasted in a news item that you are welcome to include in your newsletter / website. Additionally, I have included two photos from the conference.


Exploring the theme of “Urban Dynamics, Environment and Health” the 12th Asian Urbanization Conference was successfully convened at Banaras Hindu University in the famous pilgrimage city of Varanasi, India during December 28 to 30, 2013. Among the leading outcomes of the conference was a 21 point set of recommendations to be forwarded to the sponsoring government of India agencies. An ad hoc committee developed the recommendations based on the papers presented, panel discussions, and remarks by distinguished opening and valedictory speakers. In total, over 150 papers were presented. International participation the conference was strong, with nearly 50 presenters hailing from over 15 countries, as well over 100 scholars and practitioners from within India.

The conference featured numerous and substantive technical paper sessions and thought provoking panel sessions. The Keynote Address delivered by noted urban geographer Debnath Mookherjee (Western Washington University) spoke to the need for a more regional vision for planning using the greater Delhi metropolitan region as a case study. Remarks from Distinguished Guest and leading geographer, R.P. Mishra, highlighted the need for developing indigenous solutions to urban problems. In the Valedictory Address, respected academician and former Director of the National Mapping Organization of India, Dr. Prithvish Nag, spoke of the need for improved plan implementation. The Valedictory Keynote Speaker was Prof. Keshav of the University of Central Missouri and Guest of Honor was Prof. Rameshwari Pandya, Chairman of the Protection of Child Rights Commission, State of Gujarat.

Tremendous credit for the conference success belongs to the local convener, Prof. B.R.K. Sinha, who was ably assisted by local organizer Prof. Ram Bilas. Several heartfelt testimonials about Dr. Sinha’s efforts were made during the valedictory session, providing evidence of a rewarding conference. Gratitude also goes to Prof. Rana P.B. Singh and the Geography Department at Banaras Hindu University for their support of the conference.

Sponsors, acknowledged throughout the conference activities, included the following Specialty Groups (SG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG): the Regional Development and Planning SG, the Asian SG, and the Health and Medical Geography SG.

The next conference is to be held in Yogyakarta Indonesia, January 9-11, 2016. The lead local organizer is Dr. Rini Rachmawati, Faculty of Geography, Gadjah Mada University. In addition to paper sessions, there will also be a local planning related mobile workshop as well as a pre-conference excursion to Bali.

For more information about the Asian Urbanization Conference Series, contact George Pomeroy, Shippensburg University Pomeroy serves as the Executive Secretary of the Asian Urban Research Association (AURA), which manages the conference series. AURA may be found on Facebook ( ) .

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Royal Geographic Society session: Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research

Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research (CfP session at the RGS 2014 Conference, London 26-29 August 2014)
Posted on January 7, 2014 by Centre for Medical Humanities
Royal Geographic Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference
Geographies of co-production
London, Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 August 2014

Call for Papers for a session entitled: Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research

Session Sponsor: Geography of Health Research Group

This session will bring together researchers who are exploring the links between health and place through co-produced research. The term co-production has gained prominence in the health and social care field in recent years (Munoz, 2013) – representing a shift towards self-management; a more collaborative relationship between service providers and recipients and non-state delivery of health and care services (van Eijk and Steen, 2013). However, we can also think of co-production within the research process itself and the production of knowledge on health and place (Durose et. al., 2013). In this session, we invite researchers to reflect on questions of how and why they have engaged in participatory research on health and place in order to co-produce knowledge on health geographies. The session will explore the benefits and drawbacks of different methods; how impacts have been produced and captured; the outputs and outcomes from this type of co-production and the types of knowledge it can produce. We will consider the ways that this knowledge has been translated into health policy and practice, as well as more traditional academic outputs. We invite traditional presentations but also researchers who would like to ‘demonstrate’ their experiences by engaging the audience in display /use of the participatory methods they have employed.

Please send proposed abstracts to Dr. Sarah-Anne Munoz, University of the Highlands and Islands, by January 31st 2014.

A sad announcement: the passing of Melinda Meade (medical geographer)

The Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sadly announces the passing of Professor Emeritus Melinda Meade on November 19th. Professor Meade has been a central presence in our department since 1978, and her contributions to medical geography have been globally recognized. Some of her many accomplishments can be visited here:

Charting New Opportunities: Social Environment & Health Research

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group is pleased to co-sponsor the “Charting New Opportunities: Social Environment & Health Research” session at the 2014 Annual Meeting.  This session is organized by Bethany Deeds from the NIH-National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Please see the description and list of participants below.
Description: Current research has refined our understanding of which social environment features impact health, leading to new opportunities for both understanding and affecting these pathways. This paper session discusses recent findingsand highlights new directions in health research from the NIH’s Basic Behavioral & Social Sciences Research Opportunity Network (OppNet) grant portfolio.
Organizer/Chair: Bethany Deeds
(1) Presenter: Christopher Browning, Adolescent Health and Development in Context, R01DA032371
(2) Presenter: Penny Gordon-Larsen (will be represented by another co-investigator due to a conflict),  Environmental Changes and Health Outcomes across 25 Years: Four US Cities, R01HL114091
(3) Presenter: Glen Duncan, TWIN Study of Environment, Lifestyle Behaviors, and Health, R01AG042176
(4) Presenter: Doug Richardson, Geospatial Frontiers in Health and Social Environments, R13CA162823
(5) Discussant: Bill Elwood, OBSSR, NIH
For more information on (a) the Geospatial Frontiers in Health and Social Environments Initiative (Doug Richardson, PI) including materials from these symposia, please see and (b)  for grants and  funding announcements for OppNet: Basic Behavioral & Social Sciences Research Opportunity Network (Bill Elwood, OppNet Facilitator), please go to

Health Geography at the 2014 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting?

Hello Health and Medical Geographers,

I got this note from James Wilson (a former chair of the Health and Medical Geography Speciality Group)

Greetings from a  past chair of the HMGSG!

I attended and presented at the APHA meeting in Boston last week and I’ve seen that each year how much geography is incorporated into public health research and work. Epidemiologists and public health practioners are certainly using more geospatial technologies and spatial analysis methods.   In any case, I thought it might be of interest to share the theme for the APHA’s conference next November in New Orleans:
Healthography: How where you live affects your health and well-being
So, how should we, as a group of Health Geographers, best represent ourselves to the APHA?  I say we all attend to let them know that we exist to do what they call “healthography” and are interested in collaborating.

Call for Papers from Health Services Research Special Topic: State Health Policy Research

State Health Policy Research

Submission deadline:  Monday, October 28, 2013

Sponsored by: a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.

Health Services Research (HSR) and the State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) initiative are partnering to publish a Theme Issue on State Health Policy Research

Health Services Research invites papers for consideration in a Theme Issue on the implementation and outcome of state efforts to expand health insurance coverage and access to health care services under health reform.  The Journal is interested in both single and multi-state evaluations of the implementation of federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) to inform state health policy and to advance the field of health services research.  Relevant policies and programs include but are not limited to:  the impact of the Medicaid expansion in improving coverage rates; the effectiveness of outreach and enrollment activities; persistent barriers in access to care; implementation and use of state-based and federally-facilitated health insurance exchanges; payment and delivery system reform specifically linked to access and coverage;  employer response to new coverage options; research on provider supply as well as the impact of the ACA on the safety net.  The Journal is specifically interested in rigorous quantitative research and evaluation research to advance the field of state policy-based research.   This call will not consider disease-specific treatment and outcome research, research on the quality of health care services, qualitative work without a quantitative component, or discussion pieces or commentaries.

The deadline for initial submission of manuscripts is October 28, 2013.  Criteria for selection of manuscripts include: (1) quality, rigor and originality, (2) significance and usefulness for enhancing our understanding of state efforts to expand coverage and access to health care services under health reform; (3) and clarity of writing and presentation.  All manuscripts must follow the “Instructions for Authors” listed at:

Manuscripts submitted for the Theme Issue will first undergo the same HSR peer review process as all regular manuscripts. However, due to the timeline for publishing the Theme Issue, HSR will monitor the progress of manuscripts through the review process and try to shorten the overall process; likewise, authors should expect to be especially timely in returning revisions. All accepted articles will be published electronically within a brief period after acceptance using Wiley-Blackwell’s Early View process. Articles published through Early View are fully published, appear in PubMed, and can be cited.

Accepted articles submitted for the Theme Issue will then undergo an additional selection process for inclusion in the printed Theme Issue, which will be widely promoted. Approximately 6 to 8 articles will be selected, based on the most original and significant work addressing the theme.  Accepted manuscripts that are not selected for the Theme Issue will be automatically scheduled for print publication in a regular issue. The print publication date for the Theme Issue will be December 2014.

Key dates for authors:

Oct 28, 2013: Submission deadline of manuscripts for the Theme Issue
May 1, 2014 – Sept 19, 2014: Notification of accepted papers to HSR (dependent on date of initial submission)
Oct 1, 2014: Notification of assignment of accepted papers to the Theme Issue or Regular Issue
December 2014: Print Publication Date for Theme Issue

Call for Abstracts: Weather, Climate, and Health at AAG 2014

A cluster of sessions related to weather and climate impacts on health outcomes is being organized for the 2014 AAG Annual Meeting in partnership with the Climate Specialty Group, the Hazards and Disasters Specialty Group, the Health and Medical Geographic Specialty Group, and the Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group. Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to: heat- and cold-related morbidity and mortality, urban heat island variability and impacts, mortality displacement, climate change and projections, seasonality, influenza, statistical methods, end-user needs. Presentations focused on impacts in both developing and developed countries are welcome; geographic diversity in topics is encouraged. Each of the sessions will feature high-quality research presentations and a structured discussion.
The session organizers and chairs are:
Michael Allen, Kent State University (
P. Grady Dixon, Mississippi State University (
David Hondula, Arizona State University (
Adam Kalkstein, U.S. Military Academy (
Scott Sheridan, Kent State University (
Jennifer Vanos, Texas Tech University (
Interested participants should e-mail a presentation title to David Hondula ( as soon as possible, and no later than November 15, 2013.
The online abstract submission portal can be accessed at: The abstract submission deadline is December 3, 2013.


Call for Abstracts: Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology Sessions at AAG 2014

Flyer:  Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology at AAG 2014

Several sessions around the theme of spatial and spatiotemporal epidemiology will be organized at the coming 2014 AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida (April 8-12). The sessions focus on the development of spatial and spatiotemporal methodology to answer fundamental epidemiological questions. Sample topics include:

°Spatiotemporal modeling
°Geovisualization and geocomputation for big data
°Point pattern analysis and disease movement analysis
°Use of geospatial techniques in health (GPS, GIS)
°Preventing the spread of disease
°Accessibility to medical care, estimating travel impedance
°Modeling uncertainty

If you would like to contribute to this stream of sessions, please submit your abstract online (

Email Tijs Neutens (
or Eric Delmelle ( the title, abstract, author information and AAG PIN by October 15 2013 to be included in one of the sessions.
Contact information
Tijs Neutens (
University of Ghent, Belgium

Eric Delmelle (
University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Mei-Pwo Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Antonio Paez, McMaster University, Canada
Debarchana Ghosh, University of Connecticut
Gerry Rushton, University of Iowa
Elisabeth Dowling Root, University of Colorado at Boulder
John DeGroote, University of Northern Iowa
Xun Shi, Dartmouth University
Chris Uejio, Florida State University
Brian Bossak, Florida Gulf Coast University

CALL FOR PAPERS: Environmental Justice Research – Contemporary Issues and Emerging Topics

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group is pleased to announce our co-sponsor of the Environment Justice session at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers.  We would like to thank the leaders of this specialty group for inviting us to participate in their very relevant paper session!


2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
April 8-12, Tampa, Florida

This session will be co-sponsored by the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group, and the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group.

Jayajit Chakraborty, University of South Florida,
Timothy Collins, University of Texas at El Paso,
Sara Grineski, University of Texas at El Paso,

Description: Environmental Justice (EJ) research seeks to document and address the disproportionate environmental health and risk burdens borne by racial/ethnic minorities and individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Although its initial focus was on environmental hazards and pollution, the scope of EJ research has now expanded to encompass everything that is unsustainable about the world, including rampant industrialization, resource depletion, energy use, consumption patterns, food systems, and inequitable public policies that adversely affect minority, indigenous, and low-income communities, other vulnerable groups such as immigrants and people with disabilities, and future generations. In a context of intensifying social and environmental inequalities, there is a growing need to further strengthen this research framework and continue diversifying its themes.

This paper session intends to provide a forum for conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and empirical scholarship on EJ. We welcome qualitative and quantitative case studies, reviews of the literature, critical evaluations of methods and tools, comparative analyses, and discussions of future research needs that focus on any aspect of EJ. Paper topics may include, but are not limited to, the following EJ issues:

  •  technological hazards and risks, such as air pollution, hazardous waste, and        undesirable land uses;
  •  natural disasters and hazards, such as hurricanes and floods;
  •  adverse health outcomes, such as cancer and respiratory illnesses;
  •  environmental amenities, such as parks, playgrounds, and street trees;
  •  environmental laws, regulations, and policies;
  •  access to affordable and nutritious food;
  •  climate change; and
  •  transportation systems and policies.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to any one of the session organizers by November 18, 2013. Accepted submissions will be contacted by November 26, 2013, and expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by December 3, 2013.