News Release

Wong studying intersectional approach to improve family and social support measures of county health

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

David Wong, Professor, Geography and Geoinformation Science, received $50,000 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project: "An intersectional approach to improve family and social support measures of county health - Incorporating racial-ethnic and age dimensions."

Wong is conducting this work in response to the call for proposals issued by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R), a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 

"This project is important because it accommodates the graying and increasingly diverse populations in the U.S. when we consider health status of counties," Wong said.

The model developed by CHR&R to rank the health status of U.S. counties includes a set of variables to indicate family and social support based on several demographic variables. However, these measures are incomprehensive, leaving out the age, ethnicity, and spatial dimensions. 

Wong is collaborating with co-PI Debasree Das Gupta, an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science at the Utah State University, to develop and compute new measures based on American Community Survey (ACS) data and the Integrated Public Use Microdata Samples (IPUMS) data for each county in the United States. These measures will reflect family and social support more comprehensively by including the age, ethnicity, and spatial dimensions. 

Wong and Gupta will publish their results in refereed journals, submitted to the sponsor as a white paper, and disseminated via conferences and Wong's website.

Funding for this project began in September 2021 and will end in late August 2022. 


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at


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