Health Impact Assessment - Information & Insight for Policy Decisions

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HIA Policy Reports
  • Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance
  • After-school Programs: California Ballot Proposition 49
  • 2002 Farm Bill
  • Sacramento Safe Routes to School
  • NE Plaza/Buford Highway Redevelopment - Atlanta
  • Immunity from injury liability for entities providing access to facilities for recreational physical activity
  • Modifications to Physical Education Requirements in California
  • Mass Transit HIA: Potential health impacts of the Governor's Proposed Redirection of California State Transportation Spillover Funds
  • Modifications to the Trentonís Farmersí Market
  • Wilshire Corridor Transit Alternatives

  • Other Reports & Publications
  • HIA and Environmental Impact Assessment in the U.S.
  • Methodologies for HIA
  • Health Impact of the Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance
  • Growing the Field of HIA
  • Common Principles, Methodologies, and Approaches of HIA
  • Use of HIA in the United States
  • Governmental policy opportunities to address the environmental determinants of obesity (a working paper)


  • HIA Policy Reports

    Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance
    Since the mid 1990s over one hundred jurisdictions in the U.S. have passed "Living Wage" ordinances, including Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. While the provisions of these ordinances vary, they generally establish a minimum wage that must be paid to a specified group of workers. They often also require employers to provide either health insurance or additional monetary compensation in lieu of wages. We constructed a model to estimate potential reductions in mortality among the estimated 10,000 workers covered by the Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance.
    summary | framework | interactive calculator | other websites
    Full report available upon request. See contact page.


    After-school Programs: California Ballot Proposition 49
    Support for after-school programs has been rapidly growing across the U.S. because of their potential to improve education, reduce crime and benefit health. A major initiative in support of after-school programs has been California's Ballot Proposition 49, approved in November 2002, which will increase state funding for after-school programs from $117.5 million per year to $550 million per year. Extrapolating from the results of published evaluations of after-school programs, we examined the potential health impacts of this proposition in six areas affecting health: socio-economic changes linked to education, crime, substance abuse, physical activity, mental health and sexual activity.
    comprehensive report | summary | framework | other websites
    Full report available upon request. See contact page.


    2002 Federal Farm Bill
    Signed into law in May 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Farm Bill) includes a vast array of provisions from funding for crop subsidies to support for ethanol production to the definition of the term "catfish." It increases funding for these programs by $82.8 billion over the next ten years to $458.7 billion. Provisions in this vast piece of legislation will likely have a range of positive and negative impacts. We reviewed the evidence on the potential impacts for each of the ten major titles of the bill, with special attention given to impacts related to agricultural subsidies and support for adding ethanol to gasoline for use in automobiles.
    summary | framework (agricultural subsidies) | framework (biofuels) | other websites
    Full report available upon request. See contact page.


    Sacramento Safe Routes to School
    (conducted in collaboration with U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Project MOVE)

    With the goal of improving the health and safety of students by reducing traffic around school facilities and encouraging greater physical activity among students, Safe Routes to School programs have generated substantial interest as a mechanism to foster an active lifestyle among youth. The Sacramento Safe Routes to School Program, operating in the Natomas Unified School District, has established an on-going walk/bike to school program at two elementary schools and is beginning in one middle school. Based on a review of the relevant research literature we identified two major pathways through which the program could affect health, physical activity and pedestrian safety, and two minor pathways, violence/crime and exposure to air pollution. The health impacts stemming from each of these pathways will be analyzed based on existing research data. Most of the analysis will be descriptive and qualitative, but we will also create a simple predictive model to estimate changes in physical activity levels and body mass index.
    summary | framework | other websites


    NE Plaza/Buford Highway Redevelopment – Atlanta
    (conducted in collaboration with U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Project MOVE)

    Buford Highway is a seven-lane arterial highway that connects downtown Atlanta to the suburbs. It is considered one of the most deadly highways in the country. The proposed changes to Buford Highway and the NE Plaza include: reducing the number of lanes; adding sidewalks, crosswalks, medians, bike lanes, and on-street parking; increasing the density, land-use and connectivity around the area immediately surrounding the highway and NE Plaza. The structural changes to Buford Highway and the NE Plaza are likely to improve pedestrian safety and increase walkability; thus, the prevention of fatal and non-fatal injuries and increased physical activity are the two major health outcomes of interest for the quantitative analysis.

    Thumbnail Picture of a Strip of Buford Highway       Thumbnail Picture of Buford Mother and Child       Thumbnail Picture of a Buford Family

    summary | framework | other websites


    Rapid HIA of proposed legislation to provide partial immunity from injury liability for entities providing access to facilities for recreational physical activity
    (prepared for the California Department of Health Services, Physical Activity Policy Action Team of the Nutrition Network)

    This Rapid HIA attempts to identify policy options that will encourage physical activity in California by expanding access to existing recreational facilities in schools and businesses. More specifically this HIA examines the potential health effects of a proposed legislative initiative aimed at providing public and private organizations with protection against liability associated with the provision of facilities and services promoting physical activity. The proposed initiative will remove liability from small and medium-sized employers (50-200 employees) who make available gym equipment and space necessary for fitness activities in the work place and who encourage employees to utilize fitness and health programs. In addition the policy will extend to schools and churches that choose to open their exercise facilities and grounds to the public. The purpose of conducting this HIA is to investigate whether, and to what extent, removing this barrier will lead employers, school districts, and community centers to offer their grounds as affordable and convenient places where employees and community members can exercise thereby increasing physical activities levels in the general population.
    summary | framework | other websites


    Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Potential Modifications to Physical Education Requirements in California

    "As part of the California Endowment's Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) Initiative, a comprehensive health impact assessment (HIA) was conducted using a quantitative model to compare policy options for by increasing the quality and quantity of physical education (P.E.) provided by their schools at every grade level. Targeting the percent time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during P.E. has the greatest potential for increasing health-inducing physical activity levels among secondary school students..."
    summary | full report | spreadsheet for estimating effects of P.E. changes | spreadsheet documentation


    Mass Transit HIA: Potential health impacts of the Governor's Proposed Redirection of California State Transportation Spillover Funds

    The Governor's proposed budget for California for fiscal year 2007/2008 contained provisions for reallocating approximately $1.3 billion in gasoline sales tax revenue ("spillover funds") that had been set aside for funding transit programs throughout the state for other purposes.  This health impact assessment (HIA) sought to:  (1) To synthesize and communicate research evidence on how proposed cuts in state funding of mass transit may impact the public's health; (2) To identify potential opportunities for public policies outside the traditional purview of public health (such as transportation policy) to contribute to public health promotion efforts, particularly in an effort to address and curb the rise in childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyle.
    full report | policy brief


    Modifications to the Trentonís Farmersí Market

    The Trenton Farmers’ Market, which is owned and operated by a board of farmer-vendors, is both a farmers’ market and a public market.  Farmers’ markets and public markets in general can influence public health in a number positive ways.  However, careful consideration must be given to: market location, outreach, vendor mix, and involvement from other community programs.   The Trenton Farmers’ Market in particular has the potential to significantly benefit the health of area residents, especially in neighboring, under-served populations in central Trenton.
    full report | policy brief | framework


    Wilshire Corridor Transit Alternatives

    This health impact assessment (HIA) examines transit alternatives along the densely populated, highly congested Wilshire Corridor from mid-town Los Angeles to Santa Monica, eight and a half miles away. Among the alternatives are a proposed subway, the "Westside Subway Extension," proposed bus rapid transit lanes that would be reserved for buses and bicycles, and improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that would tie into transit.
    full report (draft for review) | policy brief (draft for review)


    Other Reports & Publications

    HIA and Environmental Impact Assessment in the U.S.
    What HIA can learn from environmental impact assessment
    Cole BL, Wilhelm M, Long PV, Fielding JE, Kominski G, Morgenstern H.  2004.  Prospects for Health Impact Assessment in the United States:  New and Improved Environmental Impact Assessment or Something Different?  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 26(4):1153-1186.
    abstract

    Methodologies for HIA
    A comprehensive review of the state of the art of HIA methodologies
    Cole BL, Shimkhada R, Fielding JE, Kominski G, Morgenstern H.  2005.  Methodologies for realizing the potential of health impact assessment.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine 28(4):382-389.
    abstract

    Health Impact of the Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance
    Cole BL, Shimkhada R, Morgenstern H, Kominski G, Fielding JE, Wu S.  2005.  The projected health impact of the Los Angeles City Living Wage Ordinance.  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.  59:645-650.
    abstract

    Growing the Field of HIA
    Dannenberg AL, Bhatia R, Cole BL, Dora C, Fielding JE, Kraft K, McClymont-Peace D, Mindell J, Onyekere C, Roberts JA, Ross CL, Rutt CD, Scott-Samuel A, Tilson HH. 2006.  Growing the field of health impact assessment in the United States: an agenda for research and practice. American Journal of Public Health. 2006 Feb;96(2):262-70.
    abstract

    Common Principles, Methodologies, and Approaches of HIA
    Cole BL, Fielding JE.  2007.  Health impact assessment: A tool to help policy makers understand health beyond health care.  Annual Review of Public Health.  28:393-412.
    abstract

    Use of HIA in the United States
    Dannenberg AL, Bhatia R, Cole BL, Heaton SK, Feldman JD, Rutt CD.  2008 (in press).  American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Use of Health Impact Assessment in the United States: 27 Case Studies, 1999-2007.
    abstract

    Governmental policy opportunities to address the environmental determinants of obesity (a working paper)
    UCLA Health Impact Assessment Project. 2007. Governmental policy opportunities to address the environmental determinants of obesity (a working paper). Available at: http://www.ph.ucla.edu/hs/health-impact/reports.htm.
    report





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