Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment

Journal Information
EISSN : 2475-5885
Published by: IUPUI University Library (10.18060)
Total articles ≅ 31
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Sandra Whitehead, James Dills, Emily Bever, Ruth Lindberg
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 6, pp 1-7;

The Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment (MEPS) outline the minimum elements that need to be addressed for a study to be considered a health impact assessment (HIA), as well as best practices for how an HIA should be conducted. The document was originally created by a group of leading HIA practitioners in 2009. Since then, it has been updated twice to reflect the evolution of HIA as a practice and the expanded use of HIA as a tool to implement health in all policies. This commentary describes current efforts to revise the MEPS—the first update in six years.
Cynthia Stone, Gina Powers
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 6;

Lauren Skowronski, Karen Lowrie, Leigh Ann Von Hagen
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 6, pp 20-24;

Gina Powers, Cynthia Stone
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 6, pp 8-19;

In 2021, the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA) celebrates its 10-year anniversary. As part of the celebration, we asked founding SOPHIA members and key SOPHIA leaders to reflect on the organization’s formation in 2011, to share their thoughts on SOPHIA’s key challenges and to highlight important accomplishments. Respondents also weighed in on the future of SOPHIA and the value of SOPHIA membership. Research was conducted using written surveys, interviews, and review of written material. Surveys were sent in July of 2021 to eleven active SOPHIA members, many of whom have served as president, vice president, board member or founding member for SOPHIA. Of the eight survey recipients who were interviewed or completed the written survey, nearly all have been conducting Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) for 10 or more years. Survey respondents’ HIA experience included assessments focused on a variety of policies, projects and programs, including housing, land use, economic security, the built environment, transportation, immigration policies, minimum wage policies, criminal justice and more. This article includes information gleaned through written material review; however, it is largely based on the feedback, insights and experiences shared by survey respondents verbally and in writing.
, Andrea Bochenek, Alison Redenz, Elinor Hansotte
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 5;

Background: Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (IU FSPH) and the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, through the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD), created a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Learning Collaborative. The purpose of the HIA Learning Collaborative was to strengthen the capacity of both the academic and community partners to carry out HIAs. Entities recognize the value of creating a collaborative team to assure personnel are trained and available to provide time and expertise for plan reviews, formal feedback, data reports, literature summaries, and input in potential health/social impacts related to projects, which can ensure these impacts are considered in development work. In addition, the MCPHD and IU FSHP intend to increase HIA capacity in Indiana and remain committed to including health impact data into non-health sector decision making. Methods: The group planned to meet monthly over the year with the following learning objectives. A survey was created in Survey Monkey in order to evaluate the overall HIA Learning Collaborative experience and to assess whether or not the learning objectives were met. The survey consisted of 11 questions: nine were multiple choice and two were open-ended. Results: The majority of the objectives were met. Conclusion: There is interest in conducting HIAs in the future and several ideas were generated.
, Shannon Cosgrove
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 5;

Background: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) can be used to assess any type of policy/program related to social determinants (SDH). However, local public health departments (LHDs) have been slow to adopt formal use of HIA in efforts to address local SDH, even with growing evidence linking SDH and place-health relationships. Ten years ago we completed a review of Baltimore City Council policies to advance this conversation within the LHD. Our goal here is to revisit this review and, again, outline a process by which LHDs can: a) monitor local policies in regard to SDH and b) identify opportunities for potential HIA use. Methods: We reviewed all policies introduced into Baltimore City Council in calendar years 2008 and 2009. We reviewed each policy to identify those with potential health impacts. We then categorized these policies as: a) “explicitly health-related” or b) “related to SDH.” We then tabulated the number and sub-types of these policies that were referred for LHD review. Results: We identified and reviewed 597 total policies. 89 policies (15%) were identified as “explicitly health-related,” 34 (38%) of which were referred for LHD review. 208 policies (35%) were identified as “related to SDH,” 13 (6%) of which were reviewed. Overall, 297 (50%) policies were identified as having potential health impacts, 47 (16%) of which were reviewed. Conclusion: This work represents a potentially replicable process to identify HIA opportunities, and potential launch point for health-in-all-policies efforts. In Baltimore, it facilitated dialogue with Baltimore City officials and led to the LHD’s first HIA grant.
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 5;

Communities, professionals, and researchers recognize that environmental factors contribute to the health inequities experienced by vulnerable populations in the U.S. These environmental health injustices persist despite well-developed systems for both public health and environmental protection. The root cause of these issues is often “siloed” decision-making by separate health and environmental institutions. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) can be an important tool for bridging these silos to promote health equity at the local level. This raises the question: how can external resources best support local initiatives? This paper examines the interaction between national, state, and non-governmental efforts to promote HIA and local actions to promote healthy and equitable built environment in Duluth, MN. A wide range of local activities in Duluth aimed to alter the long term trends, decision processes, and institutions shaping its built environment. These included integrating health in brownfield redevelopment, local land use plans, food access, and transportation decisions. Technical and financial support from external groups played a key role in developing the community’s capacity to promote health equity across public, private, and non-profit organizations. These multiple streams of action culminated in the mayor’s declaration in 2016 that health and fairness would be adopted as key goals of the city’s new Comprehensive Plan. How did such innovative efforts thrive in a small, post-industrial city with limited resources? Duluth’s experiences provide insight into how external governmental, funding, academic, and non-profit entities can more effectively, efficiently, and equitably support the evolution of local initiatives
, Nate Apathy, Carly Waite, Zoe Bestmann, Jacob Bradshaw, Emily Burchfield, Brittany Harmon, Rebekah Legg, Star Meyer, Patrick O’Brien, et al.
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 5;

Objective: To determine self-reported incidences of health and safety hazards among persons who ride rentable electric scooters (e-scooters), knowledge of e-scooter laws, and attitudes and perceptions of the health and safety of e-scooter usage. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of n= 561 e-scooter riders and non-riders was conducted during June of 2019. Results: Almost half of respondents (44%) report that e-scooters pose a threat to the health and safety of riders. Riders and non-riders disagree regarding the hazards that e-scooters pose to pedestrians. Among riders, 15% report crashing or falling off an e-scooter. Only 2.5% of e-scooter riders self-report that they always wear a helmet while riding. Conclusions: E-scooter riders report substantial rates of harmful behavior and injuries. Knowledge of e-scooter laws is limited, and e-scooters introduce threats to the health and safety of riders, pedestrians on sidewalks, and automobile drivers. Enhanced public health interventions are needed to educate about potential health risks and laws associated with e-scooter use and to ensure health in all policies. Additionally, greater consideration should be given to public health, safety, and injury prevention when passing relevant state and local e-scooter laws.
Mph Kelly Haworth, Mph Elizabeth Young Winne
Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment, Volume 4, pp 32-44;

In 2017, the Built Environment Program at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (Colorado, USA) collaborated with a partner municipal agency to create a health and equity index to be a component of a revitalized sidewalk prioritization model. The Health Equity Index uses indicators that are linked to the determinants of health to spatially understand factors that contribute to an individual or household’s likelihood of being more vulnerable. The data to create the Health Equity Index is publicly sourced at block group level from the United States Census American Community Survey 5-year estimates and at census tract level from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 500 Cities dataset. The score is one of three factors used to determine sidewalk improvement priorities in the City. The new model mapped prioritization and created broader geographic distribution than what was previously used. The creation of the Health Equity Index was a valuable partnership that led to multiple outcomes outside of the sidewalk prioritization process. First, its creation has established a foundation for partnership between two sectors across different government agencies. Second, the Health and Equity Index has also been used as an assessment tool for the adopted City Plan, the guiding comprehensive plan for the municipal agency. Through this process, we have learned that elements of Health Impact Assessment can be a powerful tool for understanding the health impacts of a policy or process on community, as well as for building and developing trusted cross-sector relationships.
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