Meet the Dashboard's New Data Team Members

Oct. 10, 2019

Leena Abbas, Peggy Hsieh, Taylor Lampe

We’re excited to introduce some of the behind the scenes members of the City Health Dashboard: Associate Research Analyst, Leena Abbas, Research Analyst, Peggy Hsieh, and Data Analyst, Taylor Lampe. They support the analytic and programmatic priorities of the City Health Dashboard.

Name: Leena Abbas Dashboard Role: Associate Research Analyst Hometown: Detroit, MI

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. What brought you to the Dashboard? I joined the Dashboard in September 2019 after graduating from Wayne State University. I studied Nutrition and Food Sciences with a focus in epidemiological research. While in Detroit, my research interests were focused mainly on health disparities within underrepresented urban populations. This involved paying attention to several metrics, such as life expectancy, birthweight, and violence. Being part of the Dashboard, I get to expand on my previous interest by diving deeper into the metrics that influence the health of a city.

  2. What have you learned since joining the Dashboard? Having recently joined the Dashboard, I have learned lots about data management and the importance of establishing great relationships with collaborators. Through our meetings with community and academic collaborators, we are able to gain a better perspective on certain metrics and gain access to additional data.

  3. Any interesting hobbies or talents? I really enjoy exercising and bird watching. NYC offers plenty of both activities and it’s always enjoyable to find fun classes and interesting birds.

Name: Peggy Hsieh Dashboard Role: Research Analyst Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. What brought you to the Dashboard? I recently joined the Dashboard in August 2019, after graduating from Columbia University with a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences and a Certificate in Molecular Epidemiology. In October 2017, wildfires destroyed parts of my hometown and resulted in numerous environmental issues, including poor air quality. Events such as these furthered my passion for combatting environmental exposures because they’re often involuntary exposures, but disproportionately affect certain populations. For example, while everyone breathes in poor air quality, non-English speakers, such as my parents, did not receive official notices that advised them to reduce their exposure by staying indoors because the messaging was not in their primary language. The Dashboard aligns well with my interests in environmental epidemiology by providing information and resources on neighborhood health that can empower communities, like my own, to better health at the local level on a variety of health issues. 

  2. What have you learned since joining the Dashboard? Over the period of just a few weeks, I have been able to develop project management and communication skills. I have realized that strong organization and effective communication is crucial for maintaining the Dashboard, such as updating all the data and documents. Also, I have had the opportunity to connect with professionals from cities across the nation, and learn about how to make the Dashboard more useful. Overall, I am very excited to grow in project management, communication, and data analysis skills as the Dashboard continues to develop.

  3. What’s your ideal metric? Picking an ideal metric is hard! As I previously worked on indoor air quality issues, I would like to see more metrics on indoor air pollution, such as mold, allergens, or radon.

Name: Taylor Lampe Dashboard Role: Data Analyst Hometown: Carmel, IN

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. What brought you to the Dashboard? While working in Atlanta at affordable housing and environmental non-profits, I became acutely aware of the importance of place and neighborhoods for health. I was obsessed with Atlanta’s local data dashboard, but I lacked the data and research skills to fully explore the connections that I was seeing around me. This led me to focus on social and spatial epidemiology during my MPH, then to The City Health Dashboard. This is a perfect place to continue deepening my knowledge and supporting local capacity for health improvement.

  2. What have you learned since joining the Dashboard? So much! One of the most interesting aspects is learning what health data is (and is not) nationally available and what limitations (like different reporting criteria by state) are associated with each dataset. Recently we’ve also been diving into Census geographies and boundaries, which has been truly fascinating (and sometimes frustrating). And, I always enjoy encountering new wonky data and GIS challenges.

  3. Any interesting hobbies or talents? I love to read and have enjoyed joining the public library and volunteering at Word Up Bookshop. My favorite part of volunteering is selling books at book launches all over the city.

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