Online Program

Federal-level health impact assessments: Lessons learned

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Saqi Maleque Cho, MSPH, Health Impact Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Marjory Givens, PhD, MSPH, Health Impact Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Aaron Wernham, MD, MS, Director, Health Impact Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC
Health impact assessments (HIA) have been used internationally for many years to help policymakers factor health more routinely into nationwide decision-making processes. HIA practice in the U.S., however, has focused mostly on state and local polices. Of the 225 HIAs completed or in progress nationally, only 5 have targeted federal policy decisions. The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, piloted the use of HIA on two federal level proposals: the reauthorization of federal legislation and a federal agency's rulemaking. The purpose of this session is to discuss the application of HIA to federal policy decisions, and identify the best practices and lessons learned for effectively implementing HIAs at the federal level.

Presenters will begin the session with a brief introduction to the state of HIA practice, and then discuss two case studies, an HIA on the U.S. farm bill and on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's designated public housing rule. Presenters will describe preliminary evaluation findings that illustrate: 1) the role the HIAs played in informing the federal legislation or administrative action; 2) how the HIAs helped educate policymakers on the connections between the proposals and health; 3) an assessment of whether the stakeholder engagement and outreach strategies employed were effective methods for communicating and receiving feedback on the HIA; and 4) lessons learned regarding the use of HIA for federal decisions.

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
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe best practices for conducting HIAs on federal policy targets. Discuss community and stakeholder engagement strategies appropriate for federal HIAs. Identify challenges for applying HIAs to federal decision-making processes.

Keyword(s): Federal Policy, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: for several years I have been working to build capacity for and implement health impact assessments at the local, state or federal level.
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.