Grantee: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Policy decisions made every day about transportation, housing, education, and infrastructure, among many others, impact Americans’ health in profound ways, yet the health implications are rarely taken into consideration. One way to integrate these sectors and promote policies that benefit public health is to conduct a health impact assessment (HIA). HIAs have become increasingly popular, but few cities have extensive experience conducting them or establishing them as a routine practice.

In collaboration with the de Beaumont Foundation and the Big Cities Health Coalition, the Pew Charitable Trusts implemented a program to initiate a broader use of HIAs in policy decisions and to increase cities’ capacity to conduct HIAs. Pew hosted three HIA demonstration projects in cities that had limited experience with HIAs but identified “health in all policies” as a priority: a living wage ordinance in Boston, a proposed green space in Chicago, and a shared-use agreement in Maricopa County, Ariz. Pew provided training and assistance in those cities to ensure high-quality assessments and organizational changes to create capacity to routinely conduct them in the future. On a broader level, Pew hosted the third National HIA Conference to offer networking and peer-to-peer training opportunities. In addition, a two-day training was provided to all Big Cities Health Coalition members to raise awareness about HIAs. Learn about Pew’s Health Impact Project.