V. Lisa Douangchai Wills, MS, CFM, GISP

Senior Scientist, Geospatial Research

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY JOB

“Traditional maps give audiences a visual way to consume data and information. In my work, I conduct geospatial research and translate the outcomes to web apps, such as story maps. A story map does more than describe events or history, it entices an audience to engage in the story by providing interactive narrative and maps, up-to-date content, and dynamic illustrations.” 

At ACS since 2018

Lisa Douangchai Wills, MSc, is a senior scientist in geospatial research at the American Cancer Society (ACS). She consults on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools and capabilities, supports geospatial tasks, and contributes, collaborates, and engages in research.

As a GIS Professional (GISP), she uses geospatial concepts and applications to support ACS programs, projects, and initiatives. Her background in transportation planning and emergency management provides a unique perspective to support ACS research about cancer, public health, and health services.

Research focus and accomplishments

Douangchai Wills’ work focuses on geospatial analytics, spatial statistics, and decision-support tools that help identify gaps and trends to inform programs and plans related to health care services.

She frequently engages in data analysis and research aimed at alleviating disparities and narrowing gaps in preventive cancer care, diagnostic care, and treatment. Her graduate research paper assessed disparities in retail access to healthy food among disparate communities.

Some types of projects that Douangchai Wills’ supports include:

  • Targeted prevention initiatives, such as efforts to increase cancer screening
  • Modeling associations between risk factors and cancer
  • Development of standards and best practices related to geospatial analysis and cartography 

Publications

In collaboration with the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, Douangchai Wills co-authored a paper that evaluated access to screening facilities for the estimated eligible population registered with the American College of Radiology. The paper is in press as of August 2020.

She also worked on these ACS products:

For a list of Douangchai Wills’ publications and cited work, visit her Google Scholar page.  

Contact 

lisa.douangchai@cancer.org 

Professional organizations

  • American Association of Geographers (AAG), Member
  • Association of State Floodplain Management (ASFPM), Member
  • Georgia Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (GA URISA), Member
  • Geospatial Technical Advisory Committee (GeoTAC), Secretary for the Advisory Committee (2018 to 2020) and Member
  • Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), Member

Education

  • MSc: City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-2011
  • BA: Geography, Georgia State University, 2000-2004

Personal life 

I believe in giving back to the community and supporting efforts to provide opportunities for children to learn and develop their skills. When I was the lead coordinator for the Metro Atlanta Geospatial Society, I worked with partners to host GIS Day events at primary and secondary schools–including one that was part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program.