IMPH Selected For National Grant to Conduct HIA in Greenville

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).

IMPH will partner with the City of Greenville to conduct an HIA on 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. The HIA will be used for decision-making for the city’s 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.

The grant is part of NNPHI’s “Increasing National Capacity for Health Impact Assessments” project, which is designed to promote the use of HIAs in decision-making and support public health institutes’ ability to conduct HIAs. An HIA is a structured process that uses scientific data, professional expertise and stakeholder input to identify and evaluate public health consequences of proposals in other sectors, such as transportation, city planning, agriculture or education and suggests actions that could be taken to optimize beneficial health impacts and minimize adverse ones.

This competitive grant supports IMPH’s work to build capacity for HIAs in South Carolina. IMPH conducted a pilot HIA in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on the potential impact of a proposed road project in Spartanburg, S.C. in 2011; this study, “A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of a Proposed ‘Road Diet’ and Re-Striping Project on Daniel Morgan Avenue in Spartanburg, South Carolina,” will be published in April 2012. Prior to this, IMPH also collaborated with DHEC to gather stakeholder input on HIA implementation in SC for “A Report on the South Carolina Healthy Eating and Active Living Health Impact Assessment Capacity Building and Planning Project” published in November 2011.

Initial plans for the newly funded HIA will be developed at the HIA training sponsored by the Piedmont Health Foundation and provided by IMPH on March 26 in Greenville. The HIA will begin in early June and conclude by the end of 2012. An advisory committee composed of community stakeholders will lead the project.

For more information about our work with HIAs in South Carolina, please contact Maya Pack or visit our Initiatives section.

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