The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) was named a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) training center by The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, through a cooperative agreement with the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI). Health Impact Assessments can help policymakers identify unintended health risks, find practical solutions, and leverage opportunities to improve the well-being of the community in which the project or policy is proposed.
In an effort to increase capacity for HIAs across the country, the following ten public health institutes were awarded the opportunity to attend a two-day training in Washington, DC in late November:
- Institute for Public Health Innovation (DC metropolitan region)
- Florida Public Health Institute
- Illinois Public Health Institute
- Kansas Health Institute
- Health Resources in Action (MA)
- Michigan Public Health Institute
- North Carolina Institute of Public Health
- Public Health Management Corporation (PA)
- South Carolina Institute for Medicine and Public Health
- University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The GHPC and Oregon Public Health Institute, also an HIA training center, have been working in partnership to select trainees, develop and deliver the training curriculum, and provide technical assistance services for this eighteen-month project.
“HIA is a fast-growing field, but a shortage of trained practitioners is holding it back,” said Aaron Wernham, M.D., M.S., director of the Health Impact Project. “Our work with NNPHI will help fill that gap, while also leveraging their network’s geographic diversity, scientific credibility, and policy expertise.”
The GHPC has been involved in work in “Health in All Policies,” a field related to Health Impact Assessment, since 2008. In 2009, GHPC began a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a cooperative agreement with NNPHI to identify key federal, state and local stakeholders in the Fort McPherson Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and construct facilitated opportunities for them to engage each other in exploring a “Health in All Policies” approach to community redevelopment. This opportunity then led to the Fort McPherson Rapid Health Impact Assessment: Zoning for Health Benefit to Surrounding Communities During Interim Use.
GHPC staff members serve in leadership positions in the field of HIA including the revision of the Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment and the development of a new Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA), the first professional association for health impact assessment practitioners in North America. For more information, please visit www.gsu.edu/ghpc.