Online Program

Building infrastructure to sustain health impact assessment practice in a large health department

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Deanna Rossi, MPH, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health, Sequoia Foundation (contractor to California Department of Public Health), Richmond, CA
Bindi Gandhi, MA, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health, California Breathing, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and its partners have built capacity within their diverse workforce to integrate the use of health impact assessments (HIA) for a variety of programs and policies. In collaboration with Sequoia Foundation, CDPH established an intra-departmental work group to screen proposed policies and projects for HIA readiness and complete HIAs, giving new practitioners a chance to hone their skills while working closely with more experienced practitioners.  The group explores state level policy, local planning initiatives, and departmental programs.  Its members work on issues ranging from community planning, environmental and occupational health, maternal-child health, sexually transmitted diseases, chronic disease and injury prevention, and health equity.

Sequoia Foundation received funding from the Health Impact Project to support the work group and its sustained HIA practice.  To build HIA expertise within the health department, CDPH and Sequoia Foundation garnered support from high-level management, recruited work group members, assessed skills and needs, and brought in HIA experts to help build capacity.  A “learn while doing” approach was adopted. At one of the initial work group meetings, members proposed projects and policies to be considered for HIA. The work group chooses one HIA project at a time and completes the six-step HIA process together, bringing in community partners as needed. The work group has close ties with the California Health in All Policies Task Force.  Task Force members are invited to participate in the completion of HIAs and capacity building activities, and review HIA recommendations. Best practices from this work group will be presented.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Design capacity building and sustainability plan to conduct health impact assessments in a large health department Assess skills and readiness of health department staff to conduct health impact assessments

Keyword(s): Public Health Infrastructure, Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program manager of a two-year health impact assessment program grant and have worked on multiple health impact assessment projects. I have collaborated with health departments on multiple state and local initiatives, including implementation of health impact assessments.
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.