Community impact

From local community needs assessments to an advisory role as a member of the ALICE Research Committee for Texas, Dr. Wang's work includes data analysis and research centered on community impact.


The Community Status Report project done in partnership with Lubbock Area United Way and other community stakeholders provides statistics related to health, safety, education and more for the area. In addition to local area statistics, there are comparisons to state and national statistics, along with trends over a period of years.

ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. It represents a growing population—individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities like housing, food, and health care. Dr. Wang is a member of the ALICE Research Advisory Committee for Texas.

In 2022 Dr. Wang wrote the Regional Needs Assessment for DFPS/CPS Region 9 under contract with One Accord for Kids (OAK) in Midland, Texas.


I define community “capacity” as communities having the resources to meet needs or to address problems. “Gaps” in services can be identified by an inability to access these services when needed, either due to financial difficulties (i.e., poverty, lack of health insurance) or because of distance.

The maps below demonstrate different ways to identify “macro” problems which have geographic bases (such as population loss in rural counties and the geographic distribution of adults with less than a high school education).
A second set of maps demonstrate how to identify whether sufficient services are available locally. Trauma 1 and 2 hospitals, the distribution of specialists such as psychiatrists, Emergency Shelter beds, and availability of any service within the same county for children in CPS foster care are several examples of unavailability of local services necessary to meet needs.
The map below shows population changes for each of the 254 counties in Texas from the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census.  Particularly striking is the migration of people from rural counties to more urban “hubs”.  This is particularly evident in rural West Texas (e.g., west of I-35), but also in counties east of I-45 and along the Texas/Louisiana border.
The map below shows the percentage of adults 25 or older in each county with less than a high school education.  What is particularly striking is the geographic clustering of counties with high percentages of adults without a high school education.
The map below shows the location of Level I and II trauma centers inside Texas and within 100 miles of its borders.  This shows the stark lack of local capacity for emergency care.
The following map shows how many Psychiatrists there are in each of the 41 counties of Public Health Region (PHR) 1.  This map shows how far individuals in rural counties must travel to get specialized medical care, in this case, by a Psychiatrist.
The following map shows the local and number of Emergency Shelter beds available for placing children–most of these are used by Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) caseworkers to temporarily place children removed from their homes.
The following map shows the percentage of children in Children’s Protective Services (CPS) care (i.e., foster children) who are placed in the same county which they live.  This is a stark demonstration that children are rarely placed close to their home counties, thus showing the lack of local “capacity” for placement of foster children.