Built Environment

Cook County, GA
United States

The House of Grace, Candy Cane’s Learning Center, Cook County Head Start Life After Birth, Cook Senior Center, Coastal Plain Community Action Agency 

Using data to inform and explain inequities across a range of social determinants of health in western Cook County, Georgia. 

A research initiative, looking at social determinants of health for the four census tracts in Cook County, Georgia, revealed that the western tract of the county had far worse outcomes than the other three tracts and had the highest rate of Black and Hispanic residents in the county. By collecting more data from residents in this community, Cook County Family Connection aims to better inform community partners how to serve these residents and how to address disparities in poverty, education, housing, crime, and health.  

Cook County Family Connection has partnerships with 60 community organizations, leaders, schools, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and social service providers. They plan to engage these partners throughout the project and share with them the collected data. Through focus groups, surveys, interviews, and asset mapping, Cook County Family Connection will gather census-tract-level data on social determinants of health and the systems and services that influence them. Working through community partners, they will conduct focus groups and surveys with residents of the western census tract to understand residents’ needs and the barriers to accessing services. Cook County Family Connection will also use a windshield survey to document the built-environment conditions in the area—including for housing, public spaces, and infrastructure—and will map community assets including grocery stores, parks, churches, and childcare centers. 

Ultimately, Cook County Family Connection will publish a report that details their research conclusions and processes. This report will be used to motivate community leaders to begin developing new systemic solutions to the disparities present in the western census tract. It will also inform community partners how to better serve the community and meet the community’s needs.