264621 Health Impact Assessment: The State of Practice in a Rapidly Growing Field

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Aaron Wernham, MD, MS , Director, Health Impact Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Public health research continues to shed light on the broad range of social, economic, and environmental policies that impact health and health disparities, yet many of these decisions are made in sectors far outside the traditional scope of public health, such as transportation, urban planning, and agriculture. Health impact assessments (HIA) are a flexible tool that evaluate the potential –and often overlooked—health effects of a proposed policy, project, or program. The use of HIAs has grown considerably in the U.S. We will present research findings from the Health Impact Project's recent State of Practice report, and highlight examples of effective applications of HIA, new policy structures being implemented by agencies seeking to make the practice more routine, and efforts by private foundations and local, state, and federal health agencies to build capacity in the field. Roughly 120 HIAs have been conducted in the U.S. to date, in over 25 states, and across a wide range of sectors and levels of government. Some states have recently developed formalized requirements and standards for HIAs; many HIAs have been incorporated into federal or state mandated environmental impact reviews; others have been implemented under new requirements or incentives for HIA; and many are conducted voluntarily. This presentation should be considered as part of a panel on HIA, along with a presentation that outlines a review of laws and statutes that may support the use of HIAs, and a presentation that describes best practices for drafting legislation that more formally requires its use.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define health impact assessments Compare state and local level applications of HIA Describe efforts by private foundations to build HIA capacity at health agencies

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be a proposal Author on the content I am responsible for because I oversee a national program designed to promote the use of health impact assessments and support the growth of the field in the United States.
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.