Health Impact Assessment in Practice

What a thought-provoking weekend in Minneapolis, MN! Between the Net Impact Conference and the Healthy Heartlands NACCHO Conference. My notebook is filled with new ideas and tangible next steps for improving health outcomes through structural and cross-industry change!

Net Impact is more or less catered towards a private sector and MBA audience, while participants of NACCHO are deeply intrenched in public sector work, specifically both community organizers and public health officials. Being in both of these circles I realize one major approach each touched on- using Health Impact Assessments (HIA) as a tool to bring hard to measure outcomes into decision-making. As many stated at #NI14, “What gets measured get monitored.”

I have some experience in creating HIAs but am really looking to expand my expertise in applying this tool for both private and public sector use. Imagine a corporation analyzing how their truck delivery routes and schedules impact asthma prevalence in effected communities. Imagine a school incorporating the short and long term health impacts in their school food contracts or disciplinary and suspension policies.

I’m graduating out of my MPH program in just a few weeks and I know that with the wealth of information available to me to build my skills. Here’s an open access e-course I found that may just be the first of many steps to develop expertise in creating and implementing HIAs: Course: Health Impact Assessment in Practice.

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