In line with the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy’s mission statement, the LHC sponsors resources which UAB researchers can use to further support their investigations into issues of health policy. In addition to our twice-monthly newsletters, we support the following resources:


PolicyMap is a fully web-based, easy-to-use, interactive online mapping application through which users can access data and create interactive maps, tables, charts, and reports. PolicyMap is a data warehouse with over 15,000 data indicators on demographics, income, education, health, jobs, housing, crime, and more that can be accessed and downloaded using the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy’s premium subscription.

About the Data:

  • Data is available at all common geographies (address, block group, census tract, zip code, county, city, state, MSA) as well as unique geographies like school districts and political boundaries.
  • Data comes from over 45 public sources and 20 proprietary sources and is updated regularly by PolicyMap.
  • Some examples of the data sources include the Census Bureau, Social Security
  • Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and CDC BRFSS. A full listing of
  • PolicyMap’s datasets and update frequencies here (excel file stored in Box).
  • Data can also be uploaded so that users can use their own address-level data and share the data using interactive maps with anyone, anywhere!

How to Access PolicyMap:

  1. Log in with your BlazerID and password at
  2. Create your own PolicyMap account by clicking “Create Account” in the top-right corner. In the future, you can use the “Log in” button to access your personal account.
  3. To access your personal account and the premium features of the LHC subscription, you must use this log-in process

Having trouble logging in? Try disabling your VPN, clearing your browser’s cookies, or restarting your browser. If you’re still having issues, email us at


The Lister Hill Center is a proud supporter of the Geospatial Research and Information Domain (GRID) at UAB!

A Geographic Information System can be used to create, edit, and analyze maps to find the answers to pressing questions. Want to know where something is located? What’s nearby? How things are related? Or even what’s changing over time? GIS has got you covered. This versatile tool used across various fields, including public health, environmental management, academia, planning, policy communication, and business logistics. Thanks to GRID, UAB students, staff, and faculty may now access GIS software for free. Learn more at:

Read about how UAB researchers are utilizing ArcGIS here. 


Meltwater is an interactive online social media surveillance tool. This platform allows researchers to monitor public social media posts for keywords, sentiment, geography, and several other aspects to provide insights on how the general public may feel about any given issue. Meltwater extracts data from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Youtube, and various blogs/news sites. Using the LHC’s subscription to the “Explore” feature, UAB researchers can download data from searches using Meltwater for further analysis.

In 2020, Drs. Henna Budhwani and Ruoyan Sun used Meltwater to assess whether there was an increase in the use of “China virus” to refer to SARS-CoV-2 after the term was used by the US president. Their article is available here:

UAB researchers are welcome to utilize the Lister Hill Center’s subscription to Meltwater. Email us at for login information!

American Hospital Association Data

The Lister Hill Center has joined forces with the Department of Health Services Administration (School of Health Professions) to support access to data from the American Hospital Association. This includes AHA’s annual survey and several other datasets. Access is provided through the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), a data repository that anyone from UAB can access.

The slideshow below describes how to access WRDS, and subsequently AHA data. Please contact with any questions!

View the original .pptx file here! You can access WRDS through this link:

Community Resources

It would be remiss of us not to highlight some of the technical partners we’ve worked closely with who may also be able to provide assistance for your projects, whether you’re a UAB faculty member, a community leader, or somewhere in between.

TRA Group:

TRA Group specializes in research support and advisement for qualitative and quantitative projects. They partner with universities and research organizations across the country. Specifically, they have 15 years of experience as practitioners in each phase of the research process. TRA Group works alongside PIs and project managers to complete tasks that are fundamental to accomplishing project aims. Areas of expertise include:  

  • Qualitative Transcriptions
  • Subject Matter Expert grant reviews (Pre-submission and award panels)
  • Research participant recruitment (includes identifying key stakeholders)
  • Focus group facilitation
  • Formative & program evaluation for CDC and Justice Department grants
  • Town Hall production (virtual and in person)
  • Dissemination strategies

TRA Group enhances translation by serving as a link between science and the community, working with projects large and small.  More details can be found at 

If you have an idea for a resource that the Lister Hill Center could offer, contact us at