Online Program

Public health and economic development; Avenues for collaboration in Allegheny County

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, Allegheny County Health Department, Pittsburgh, PA
Hannah Hardy, MPA, Prevention Program, Allegheny County Health Department, Wilkinsburg, PA
Kay Pierce, Planning Division, Allegheny County Economic Development, Pittsburgh, PA
Allegheny County has a population of about 1.3 million in 130 municipalities, including Pittsburgh.  But. while Pitts burgh is enjoying gentrification, there are portions of the County with major disadvantage. In 2014, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) began to use a health in all policies approach to improve the health of the County and reach out to develop cross-sectoral collaborations.

Recognizing the role of economic development and land use in community health, ACHD forged a relationship with Allegheny County Economic  Development  (ACED).  ACED had published a large study of active transportation-Active Allegheny-that focused on all forms of active transportation including bike paths, trails, complete streets, etc.  Simultaneously,  ACHD, had launched a health and wellness campaign-Live Well Allegheny- to encourage physical activity and healthy nutrition. These efforts existed in isolation and were not effectively integrated. The time was ripe for collaboration. Together the two departments embarked on a joint health in all policies approach which included: adopting Active Allegheny as a health strategy for municipalities; incorporating health into the comprehensive land use plan; reviewing pertinent data; and adopting health impact assessments for major development.  A number of grants were written to obtain funding for communities to develop active living designs, students were engaged to learn about health impact assessments, and plans were made to incorporate health into the comprehensive land use plan.

This presentation will describe the steps taken to develop a robust health/economic development collaboration towards improving the health of Allegheny County. 

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe three strategies for collaboration between public health and economic development to achieve a health in all policies approach Identify ways in which economic development impacts health Define a comprehensive land use plan

Keyword(s): Community Development, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department and have extensive expertise in collaboration. I have been the principal investigator on multiple federal, state and foundation grants. I am also on many committees focused on population health and trying to achieve health in all policies
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.