Changing Project Direction

My original plan was to be able to calculate infant mortality rates for specific areas of Boston before milk stations were implemented, and then after. However, infant mortality data that I would have used to create a mortality rate was not available for the years during and after the milk stations were set up. I decided to change the direction of my project.

I am now looking at infant deaths from before the milk stations were event set up, and looking to see if milk stations were later installed in areas with high infant mortality. I used GIS to map out infant deaths and milk stations, then created 2km rings around each milk station that would contain all of the infant deaths that occur, years prior, within a 2km distance of the stations. From there, I can see how many deaths occurred within 1km of each milk station, 500m, 200m, and 100m. I can use this data to see what percentage of all of the deaths that I have the locations of occurred within each distance ring. Using this, and the map that I made, I can look and see if there’s any correlation between high number in infant deaths and where the milk stations were placed.
I also found some literature on the private organization responsible for 10 of the 14 milk stations: The Committee on Milk and Baby Hygiene. This was a private initiative that worked with settlement houses or operated on its own to provide milk and educate mothers. Given that this organization provided home visits and had weekly meetings for mothers to attend with their children, I decided to limit my longest radius to 2km. It’s a more comfortable walking distance and one that I think would more accurately show how the concentration of some deaths could have affected where the organization would have placed, given that the mothers helped by milk stations came from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Looking at my map and the data that I have, I do see a correlation between high numbers of infant deaths. With some more analysis, I should be able to see how strong this correlation is.

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