Spatial analysis of community service availability in rural Kentucky, United States

Aiko Weverka, Nikita L. Vundi, Jessica M. Clouser, Akosua K. Adu, Mark V. Williams, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examined community service provider (CSP) availability relative to neighborhood socioeconomic status and its association with health-related social needs in Eastern Kentucky, United States. We used GIS methods to generate 10-mile network service areas around addresses of 736 CSPs and 10,161 Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries screened August 2018–April 2020 in 27-county study region. We observed wide variation in CSP availability and an inverse relationship between CSP availability and rates of unemployment, poverty, and federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The CSPs appear to have higher availability in more affluent census block groups. We found a statistically significant negative relationship between CSP availability within 10 miles of a beneficiary’s resident and the presence of food, housing, transportation needs. Our findings suggest that healthcare providers, government entities, and non-profit organizations should consider geographic accessibility to those most in need when making referral and funding decisions, particularly in rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-22
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


  • Accountable health communities
  • Community services
  • GIS
  • Geographic availability
  • Health-related social needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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