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Data Mining In Mesa Gets Bloomberg's Attention

Mesa Mayor John Giles
(Photo courtesy of Mesa)
Mesa Mayor John Giles.

Arizona’s third largest city is also among its most innovative when it comes to using data effectively to serve its residents.

Mesa was recently chosen as one of the first eight cities to be part of $42 million initiative by Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

It all has to do with the tangibility of mining and collecting data. Turns out Mesa’s pretty good at it. They analyzed 911 calls in the city and found that many of them did not ultimately require ambulance trips to the hospital. So they rolled out something called community care units, staffed by fire officials and nurse practitioners to take care of the less serious calls. They say it has helped them save money in unneeded ambulance response and hospital visits. 

According to Mesa mayor John Giles, it’s how they got on Bloomberg’s radar to be among the first cities selected for the honor.

Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans, La.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tulsa, Okla. are the other seven cities chosen for the initiative.

Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.