The Health Impact Project is seeking individuals or organizations to provide training, mentoring, and technical assistance, known as TMTA, to our demonstration project grantees beginning in October.
We are looking for TMTA providers with substantial experience in conducting health impact assessments who also demonstrate a strong understanding of the challenges and approaches to conducting HIAs. Providers should also have direct experience conducting HIA workshops or trainings and serving in mentoring or technical assistance roles.
If you are interested in providing TMTA to our newest grantees, please submit a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 25, 2014.
Major Evaluation of HIA Practice in the U.S. Released
We are pleased to announce the release of a national evaluation of HIAs in the United States, "Do Health Impact Assessments Make a Difference?" This evaluation, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, outlines key findings on the effectiveness of HIAs. The study, written by the Center for Community Health and Evaluation, shows how HIAs change decision-making and provides evidence that they can lead to community benefits such as stronger cross-sector relationships, amplified community voices, and long-term changes.
New HIAs Completed
The Illinois Public Health Institute, a grantee of the Health Impact Project, released a new HIA on banning sugar-sweetened beverages in the food stamp program. The HIA concluded that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants in Illinois would be more likely to reduce their purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages as part of a voluntary program that incorporates a mix of incentives for purchases of healthier foods and beverages and restrictions on sugary beverages and nutrition education. Read more about the HIA.
A new HIA from the Kansas Health Institute, Potential Health Effects of Changes to the Kansas Liquor Control Act, aims to inform policy decisions on a decades-old law that allows only liquor stores to sell spirits, wine, and beer with higher alcohol content. The HIA assesses how a change to allow grocery stores to hold such licenses would affect health. This HIA was funded through a partnership with the National Network of Public Health Institutes and the Health Impact Project.
California Rural Legal Assistance recently conducted two HIAs to inform the development of Sustainable Community Strategies for Fresno and Kern Counties. California's Senate Bill 375 requires that metropolitan planning organizations develop these strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing an integrated transportation, land-use, and housing plan. Both HIAs focus on SB 375's potential impact on disadvantaged unincorporated communities and low-income urban neighborhoods within Fresno and Kern Counties.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit in New York City conducted an HIA to inform Puerto Rican policymakers' decision on funding a comprehensive development plan to improve sanitation infrastructure, increase dredging, and remove heavily polluted sludge from a two-mile stretch of the Caño Martin Peña, an estuarine tidal channel next to San Juan's main financial district. The HIA includes examinations of the issues of physical health, mental health, and social welfare associated with the proposed project, such as the health benefits of installing sewage lines and preventing repeated flooding incidents. Read the HIA.
Grantee News Coverage
In Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Connect Fitchburg announced a presentation to the City Council's Committee of the Whole on a recent HIA concerning the use of the Nine Springs Golf Course. The HIA studied the potential health impacts of keeping the area as a golf course or turning the 33-acre space into a park. Public Health Madison and Dane County, the group behind the HIA, used the findings to make recommendations to improve the health benefits to the surrounding area, regardless of the outcome. Read more about this HIA.
In Winona, Minnesota, the Winona Active Living Plan received coverage in The Winona Post that directed residents to an online survey as part of an ongoing HIA. The assessment seeks to enhance Winona County's Active Living Plan, which provides direction on policies that create active communities through non-motorized transportation. The enhanced plan would move beyond obvious activities, such as bicycling and walking, to a more holistic analysis of policy decisions that may ultimately influence physical activity. Read more about the HIA.
Meetings and Trainings
Registration is now open for the June 24 Health Impact Assessment Training in Salem, Oregon. The workshop, hosted by Upstream Public Health and the Oregon Public Health Institute, is designed to help practitioners and consultants working in planning, evaluation, assessment, or health promotion determine when and how to best incorporate HIAs into their work. For more information or to register, visit www.UpstreamPublicHealth.org.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials is hosting a health impact assessment training as a pre-conference session at NACCHO Annual 2014 in Atlanta, GA, on July 8th. The training is geared towards introducing local health department staff to the concepts and strategies of HIA, and how they may be able to utilize this approach to increase the consideration of health in policy and planning decision-making processes within their own jurisdictions. Register here.
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Aaron Wernham and the Health Impact Project team