239457 Health impact assessment and agricultural land use: A case study of the Hawaii County Agricultural Development Plan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:10 PM

Ameena T. Ahmed, MD, MPH , Research, Center for Health Research, Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Kim Gilhuly, MPH , Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Elizabeth Cole, EdD , Kohala Center, The Kohala Center, Kamuela, HI
Celia Harris, MPH , Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Matthew Loke, PhD , Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Development Division, State of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Jennifer Lucky, MPH , Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Bethany Rogerson, MPH , Health Impact Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a tool used to consider health outcomes of proposed policy or planning decisions in order to inform the decision-making process. Most HIAs to date have been conducted in urban settings, and have addressed transportation, the built environment, or proposed legislation. We present the processes and outcomes of an HIA of the Agricultural Development Plan in rural Hawaii County, Hawaii. During the screening process, the multidisciplinary HIA team identified four specific agricultural plan policies likely to have significant health impact: promotion of food cultivation for the local market; institutional purchasing of locally grown agricultural products; promotion of policies to support home and community food gardens; and new development of land for biofuel production. The domains of health impact identified through a stakeholder engagement process included food security, food safety, obesity, employment, economic growth, and social well-being. HIA findings were employed to craft policy recommendations improve positive or mitigate negative health outcomes of the agricultural plan. Assessment methods included literature review, estimations of changes in disease incidence, and economic forecasting of income and revenue generated as a result the proposed changes. Stakeholders were informed of HIA results through circulation of an Executive Summary, media outreach, and stakeholder and public meetings. We expect that HIA findings will result in adoption of health-promoting policy as decision-makers appear open to the health impact discussion. We discuss challenges and problems encountered in the course of conducting this HIA and present recommendations for conducting HIA in rural or remote locations.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the role of HIA in agricultural planning. 2. Discuss three potential challenges to conducting HIA in remote settings. 3. Describe the key processes in conducting an HIA.

Keywords: Rural Communities, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research presented herein.
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.