Meet the Dashboard Staff
Mar. 6, 2019
Allegra Wilson, Miriam Gofine, & Samantha Breslin
We’re excited to introduce some of the behind the scenes members of the City Health Dashboard: Research Analyst, Allegra Wilson, Senior Data Analyst, Miriam Gofine, and Project Coordinator, Samantha Breslin. They support the analytic and programmatic priorities of the City Health Dashboard.
Name: Allegra Wilson Dashboard Role: Research Analyst Hometown: Bethesda, MD
What brought you to the Dashboard? I joined the City Health Dashboard in August 2017, after graduating from Northwestern University. At Northwestern, I took classes in psychology and global health, culminating in a study abroad experience in Europe. On that program, I visited the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva where I met public health experts from around the world. It was such an eye-opening experience and solidified my decision to go into public health post-graduation. The City Health Dashboard was the perfect next step for me—an opportunity to put all of the concepts I learned in school into practice.
What have you learned since joining the Dashboard? I work most closely with the Analytic team, which includes Miriam Gofine and Ben Spoer. They’ve been very supportive, improving my skills in spatial analysis in ArcGIS, data visualization in Tableau, and coding in Python. Even though I spend a lot of my time with the Analytic team, our project is very collaborative overall. We’re constantly bouncing ideas back and forth with the Programs team to build the best product we can. The City Health Dashboard only benefits from a diversity of perspectives and ideas.
What is your ideal metric? I would like to see an STI metric on the Dashboard. I think it would be an excellent addition to our health behaviors domain, given that STIs are on the rise and antibiotic resistance is becoming a more pressing concern. However, most of the data on STIs are at the county level, not city. If any of our users have any suggestions for a city-level STI data source, please let us know!!
Name: Miriam Gofine Dashboard Role: Senior Data Analyst Hometown: Toronto, Canada
What is your day-to-day? I am able to contribute to a lot of different elements of the Dashboard, so my day-to-day varies quite a bit. My time is divided between analyzing metric data, preparing data for posters and publications, working on downloadable data, and collaborating with our awesome team on developing content for blogs and other communications.
What have you learned since joining the City Health Dashboard? I joined the Dashboard team just as work on the post-pilot site began in September 2017. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn about what goes in to taking a new website from rough sketches to a fully functioning resource by being involved with this project. It’s also been great to develop my technical skills, especially with SAS and Tableau, through my analytic work.
Tell us about your most recent work? Right now I’m preparing new data products, such as longitudinal data, that will be launched in May 2019, on the Dashboard’s one year anniversary – stay tuned!
Name: Samantha Breslin Dashboard Role: Project Coordinator Hometown: Purchase, NY
What is your background in? I’m unique to the Dashboard since I’m the only member of the team who does not come from a strictly public health background. Instead, my experience and education has been rooted in nonprofit management and public policy. This past May, I received my Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner. This expertise has served me well at the Dashboard as we think through our strategic partnerships with cities and other organizations, and what sustainability looks like for our tool.
What have you learned since joining the Dashboard? It has been eye opening to see just how connected public health is to every other discipline. No matter the program or policy, there are always implications on health. This is an area where I think the Dashboard is second to none. Our data visualizations, in particular our census tract maps and metric comparisons, turned the light on for me and made these connections explicit.
What is your ideal metric? In my first week here, I asked the team about an incarceration metric. Long story short: measuring incarceration in cities is complicated and there is not enough data available to meet the requirements for inclusion on the Dashboard. This is still an indicator that I am passionate about and believe would add further context for understanding city population health and the specific challenges communities face.