Health Impact Assessments (HIA)

A Health Impact Assessment is a combination of procedures, methods and tools that systematically judges the potential, and sometimes unintended, effects of a project, plan, program or environmental intervention on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within the population.  HIA identifies appropriate actions to manage those effects.

What is a Health Impact Assessment (HIA)?

A HIA is a practical approach for collaboration between health and other sectors, translating public health research into predictions and informing strategies that policy makers can use to ensure that new public decisions contribute to healthier communities.  HIAs outline opportunities to maximize health gains, minimize adverse effects and improve health for everyone in the affected community.  The process views health from a broad perspective and addresses social determinants of health while predicting how proposed projects, plans, programs and environmental interventions – such as those related to housing, employment, transportation,  education and incarceration – affect health outcomes and inequities.

What work has been done with HIAs in South Carolina?

IMPH is leading the movement to build capacity to apply this tool to provide evidence-based information to inform policy and decision-making.

In March of 2012, IMPH was selected for one of two $20,000 grants by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) with support from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to conduct South Carolina’s first comprehensive HIA.

IMPH worked with the City of Greenville to conduct an HIA on the potential effects of expansion and/or addition of parks, green space and trails in Greenville’s west side.  The HIA contributed evidence-based information to the city’s decision-making for a larger planning initiative, “Connections for Sustainability: Linking Greenville’s Neighborhoods to Jobs and Open Space,” by providing information on the relationship between health and other city planning considerations.  This project began in late spring of 2012 and concluded in the beginning of 2013.  The full report and executive summary of “A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Park, Trail and Green Space Planning in the West Side of Greenville, South Carolina” can be found here.

IMPH’s work with HIAs began when the organization was contracted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to manage a project funded by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) to support capacity building for HIAs in South Carolina.

As part of the development of capacity to implement HIAs in South Carolina, IMPH convened partners in Spartanburg to develop a case study HIA on the potential impact of a proposed road project in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 2011.  Click here to view the HIA of a Proposed “Road Diet” and Re-Striping Project on Daniel Morgan Avenue in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

IMPH also conducted a strategic and capacity planning process and garnered stakeholder input about how best to implement HIAs in South Carolina.  These perspectives were published in “A Report on the South Carolina Healthy Eating and Active Living Health Impact Assessment Capacity Building and Planning Project” in November 2011.

Please contact Maya Pack for more information on the Institute’s role in Health Impact Assessments.

 


News

  • The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) has released the report "HIA Practice in the US, The Public Health Institute Model." This report was produced for health impact assessment (HIA) practitioners and those interested in HIA to share strategies for the institutionalization of HIA.
  • The health impacts of park, trail and green space planning in the west side of Greenville are better understood as a result of a comprehensive community process led by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH).
  • Associate Director Maya Pack participated in the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting held in San Francisco, California October 27-31, 2012. Ms. Pack's participation centered around Health Impact Assessments. In addition to a poster presentation, Ms. Pack participated in a Panel Discussion arranged by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) entitled Public Health Institutes: Building National Capacity for Health Impact Assessments. ​
  • An article in the September 2, 2012 issue of The Greenville News, "Downtown park dream inspires ideas" discusses the current South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) health impact assessment (HIA) examining the potential effects of expansion and addition of parks, green space and trails in three low to moderate income neighborhoods in Greenville’s west side, West Greenville, West End and Southernside.
  • Ms. Maya Pack presented on a health impact assessment the at Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) International Conference on July 31, 2012 in Savannah, GA. A link to Ms. Pack's presentation, A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on a Proposed “Road Diet” and Re-Striping Project In Spartanburg, SC, is provided.
  • The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) worked with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to manage a project funded by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) to support capacity building for Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in South Carolina.
  • The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) and the Piedmont Health Foundation convened stakeholders from Greenville area organizations on March 26, 2012 to provide training on the purpose and use of the health impact assessment (HIA) as a tool for incorporating health decisions into community decision making.
  • IMPH was recently selected for one of two $20,000 grants by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Health Impact Project to conduct the state’s first comprehensive health impact assessment (HIA).

Resources

  • The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) has released the report "HIA Practice in the US, The Public Health Institute Model." This report was produced for health impact assessment (HIA) practitioners and those interested in HIA to share strategies for the institutionalization of HIA.
  • Associate Director Maya Pack participated in the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting held in San Francisco, California October 27-31, 2012. Ms. Pack's participation centered around Health Impact Assessments. In addition to a poster presentation, Ms. Pack participated in a Panel Discussion arranged by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) entitled Public Health Institutes: Building National Capacity for Health Impact Assessments. ​
  • Includes meeting notes and materials from the West Side Health Impact Assessment Advisory Committee.
  • Click the link above for links to websites with more information about Health Impact Assessments (HIAs).

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