235075 A transportation health impact assessment in Central Indiana: A service learning project

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cynthia L. Stone, DrPH , School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Marion S. Greene, MPH , Center for Health Policy, Department of Public Health, IU School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Sandra F. Cummings, MSW , Marion County Health Department, Indianapolis, IN
Millicent Fleming-Moran, PhD , Dept. of Epidemiology, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indianapolis, IN
Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) incorporate a combination of tools, methods, and procedures to evaluate the potential health effects of a proposed program, project, or policy. Frequently used in Europe, Canada, and other parts of the world, HIAs are now rapidly emerging in the United States. A manager from a large county health department approached the local university's department of public health about conducting an HIA as part of a service learning project. This project would allow students a chance to learn about HIA techniques, while assessing the potential health impacts of the first phase of a regional transportation expansion. The project will benefit the community partners by providing human resources to conduct the HIA and information for future projects. For this purpose, the university department and health policy center, in collaboration with the county health department and the local planning organization, developed a curriculum for a graduate level HIA course. In the first half of the course students will be exposed to the theoretical framework of HIAs, learning about techniques and methodologies. The second half of the semester is designed to provide practical hands-on experience; students will conduct a rapid assessment focusing on the health impact of expanded bus routes in the area, on physical activity, obesity, and diabetes. At the end of the course, students will have gained an in-depth understanding of the HIA process. An evaluation of the course is currently not available, since it will be taught for the first time during the spring semester.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the actions taken to implement a health impact assessment as a service learning project for MPH students.

Keywords: Assessments, Public Health Education and Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a DrPH and have taught public health for BSN, MSN and MPH students for 20 years. I am the faculty of record for a health impact assessment class with a service learning project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.