Aaron Wernham, director of the Health Impact Project discusses the benefits of health impact assessments in this edition of Governing.More info
"In 2007, developers of a planned senior-housing project in Oakland, California, decided to move the entrance from adjacent to a busy highway to a quiet courtyard. The change would make it safer for residents as they walked to and from home. The idea, from an Oakland-based group called Human Impact Partners, addressed a small but nonetheless important health concern that might otherwise have been ignored.
A report released yesterday by the National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) provides a ringing endorsement of such efforts, called a Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The report not only provides guidelines for conducting these analyses, but also argues for their value on both public and private construction projects, from urban farmers' markets to federal highways.
The biggest obstacle facing HIAs may be the status quo, although the report notes that federal laws could already accommodate them. The U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to conduct environmental impact statements on threats or boons to "the quality of the human environment" as well as the natural environment. That requirement has largely fallen by the wayside, says committee member Aaron Wernham, director of the Health Impact Project, a joint venture of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which helped pay for the study. He says the problem is often that particular mission agencies lack the expertise to explore the health consequences of their actions. "Health needs to be at the table," says Wernham.
Still, some experts have reservations about rolling HIAs into the NEPA process. "People are concerned that health impact assessments not become overly bureaucratic and not be another box that's checked off in a process," says Wernham."
- Date added:
- Sep 9, 2011
The Health Impact Project announced eight new grant recipients that will receive funding to conduct health impact assessments, or HIAs. The projects will bring health considerations into upcoming decisions on topics including education, sanitation infrastructure, and energy. The grantees were selected based on their response to a national call for proposals.More info
The city of Greenville, South Carolina recently completed a yearlong health impact assessment with support from Pew's Health Impact Project.More info
The Health Impact Project announces a request for proposals (RFP) that will fund three grants of up to $100,000 each to identify and address potential health impacts of an upcoming decision in each of their communities or state through the use of health impact assessments (HIA).More info
The New York Times interviews Aaron Wernham, project director for the Health Impact Project, about the growing field of health impact assessments.More info
Minnesota organizations are invited to participate in an in-person training to learn about health impact assessments (HIAs). An HIA can help improve the well-being of local communities by incorporating health into decisions in other sectors.More info
"A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concludes that getting rid of junk food at school boosts kids’ health and doesn’t hurt schools financially. Even many snack food companies are on board."More info
"'The evidence is clear and compelling,' said Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project in a press release. 'Implementing strong national nutrition standards to make the snacks and beverages our children consume healthier is something that schools and districts can afford. The USDA should do all it can to finalize and help implement strong standards.'"More info
Aaron Wernham, director of the Health Impact Project, explains how by systematically assessing the health risks of development decisions upfront, health impact assessments can prevent costly and harmful mistakes.More info
"A study released late last month delivers the message: Make competitive foods offered in schools healthier, too. The study was a collaboration between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and came from two projects, the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project – the director, Jessica Donze Black, is a University of Delaware graduate – and the Health Impact Project."More info
The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, announced a call for proposals for grants to conduct health impact assessments (HIAs). HIAs identify and address the health impacts of decisions in other sectors, such as planning roads, passing agriculture legislation, or siting schools.More info
Pew and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborate to examine impact of updated USDA standards for snack and a la carte foods and beverages sold in schools.More info
"A recent study has reaffirmed what local school officials already knew: Student health and school budgets can both benefit from higher nutrition standards."More info