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Health Impact Assessment Project 
Health Impact Assessments are a method of assessing how a plan, program, or policy will affect the overall health of a population.  It is a flexible process which can be changed to fit the needs of an organization.  Health Impact Assessment (HIA) helps policy makers analyze potential health impacts by bringing together scientific data, health expertise and public input to identify the potential health effects of proposed new laws, regulations, projects and programs.
There are three basic types of HIAs:

 • Rapid, which takes days or weeks
 • Intermediate, which takes weeks or months
 • Comprehensive, which takes months or years
Health Impact Assessments follow the same basic process, regardless of the type being utilized.

There are six primary steps: 
1. Screening, which helps a department determine if conducting an HIA would be feasible or helpful in making a decision about a plan, program, or policy.
2. Scoping, where objectives are created and the process is outlined.
3. Assessment, which involves determining baseline data, predicting an outcome, and conducting literature reviews, qualitative analysis and/or quantitative modeling to gather information relating to the decision.  The analysis may identify specific vulnerable populations that are affected by the decision and may be considered when weighing pros and cons of a decision.
4. Recommendation, which is based on the analysis completed in the assessment stage.
5. Reporting, which disseminates the findings of the HIA to key decision makers and stakeholders.  It includes the recommendations from the previous step.
6. Monitoring and Evaluation, where the overall quality of the HIA is addressed, along with determining the impact the HIA had on the decision-making process and monitoring the health effects of the final decision for the plan, program, or policy.
 
Here in Kane County
The Kane County Health Department and Development and Community Services Department jointly applied for and were awarded a grant in 2011 to undergo training and conduct an HIA.  The HIA team is examining an amendment to the county’s Farmland Protection Program.  In 2012-2013, the Kane County Farmland Protection Commission and the Kane County Board will consider an amendment to Ordinance 01-67, the Farmland Protection Program.

The proposed amendment, an implementation strategy of the county’s 2040 Plan, will expand eligibility criteria to include small food producing farms, and ensure that acreage remains available for local food production. At present, 100% of participants in the farm protection program are conventional row crop and livestock producers situated in rural Kane. This policy balances investment in permanent farmland protection in all planning regions (food and farms, critical growth, and sustainable urban corridors) and encourages local food production for the benefit of population health.
CLICK HERE
for our main HIA page
 
Health Impact Project Grant Announcement  3-1-12
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Resources:
Health Impact Project
Human Impact Partners
CDC HIA Information
World Health Organization HIA Information
 
Robert Wood Johnson
The Pew Charitable Trust
 
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