Health Impact Assessment at CPH

What is an Health Impact Assessment (HIA)?

A Health Impact Assessment evaluates the impact of a planned change on the health of the community before it happens. For example, it can predict the health impact of a planned road for neighborhood residents. 

To assess the impact of a proposed policy, plan, program or project, HIAs use a variety of data sources and input from area residents, businesses and community leaders (stakeholders). HIAs also provide recommendations on how to monitor and manage health effects that could occur.

HIAs can take on many forms, but the best ones happen during the decision-making process, where the decision-makers and the stakeholders that will be impacted by a decision are both involved in the HIA process.

An HIA is a tool used to make sure that health is considered in all policies, projects, plans or key decisions within our community. It also promotes better options for healthier choices for communities with fewer resources and higher rates of disease (health equity).

Why are HIAs Important?

HIAs can identify the unintended consequences of a plan, project, policy or other decision before it is put into place and make recommendations to prevent or lessen negative effects. Ultimately, they can help a community reach its health goals.

They can also raise awareness of the positive health impacts of a proposed a plan, project, policy or other decision among decision-makers and the public, which ensures social and financial support of the plan when the time for implementation comes.

What is required to do an HIA? 

HIA ProcessAn HIA follows a six-step process (see image).

In order to do an HIA, you need: 

  • Data about the community impacted
  • A way to engage the community impacted
  • Time to process data and stakeholder feedback

HIA and Columbus Public Health

Columbus Public Health’s Healthy Places Program uses the HIA tool to evaluate health impacts of select decisions within the City of Columbus, such as neighborhood planning code changes, and other key decisions before they go before Columbus City Council. 

Completed HIAs (click each to view HIA):

To learn more about HIA, request an HIA presentation, or suggest a topic for HIA, contact: (614) 645-5318 or email stulrich@columbus.gov.

HIA Resources