Health Impact Assessment

August 1, 2017 Health Impact, News, Policy, Sustainability and Resiliency Brian Nowakowski

Concerned that a new development could have unintended consequences for residents? A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) can provide a crucial resource to address community member’s concerns about the potential impact(s) of a proposed plan or development. Through the HIA process, it is possible to:
  • Predict health outcomes,
  • Make recommendations for policy changes,
  • Consider trade-offs and health impacts, and
  • Engage your community.

There are six steps:

  1. Develop a Screening Process: Determine if an HIA will add value by identifying if there are health impacts, if the process allows for input, and whether the findings would provide added value.
  2. Scope the HIA: Develop a plan for the HIA, including goals, time-frame, geography, population, engagement plan, and roles for participants.
  3. Conduct the Assessment: Identify current and predicted health impacts by identifying a baseline profile of the community, selecting appropriate indicators, and characterization of anticipated effects of alternative decisions.
  4. Recommendations: Identify actions that protect health including mitigation, enhancement, and adoption scenarios.
  5. Reporting: Communicate findings through a formal report as well as fact sheets, testimony, website/social media, media, op-eds.
  6. Evaluation: Monitor impacts of assessment through engagement, awareness of topics, implementation.

To learn more about Health Impact Assessments, find resources, and funding announcements, please visit: Health Impact Project and American Planning Association.

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