|Health in All Policies Projects|
HIA is not the only tool to accomplish HIP’s mission of considering health and equity in decision-making. HIP often conducts a range of activities that are related to HIA, but not always as part of the full HIA process. For example, we may be asked by community organizations to identify indicators for use in a planning process or we may be asked by a government agency to provide feedback on a proposed plan/project. Given the resources necessary to conduct an HIA, being responsive to these types of requests ensures that health and equity are considered in more contexts. Currently, this type of work falls into the broad category of “Health in All Policies.”
For community organizations, public agencies, and others interested in exploring how to integrate health in decision-making, HIP can conduct the following activities:
Examples of Current Projects Include:
Human Impact Partners, with funding from the Resources Legacy Fund, convened a statewide group to develop 13 health and equity performance metrics that assess the outcomes of land use and transportation changes made by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). The group included statewide health experts, agency staff, advocates, and transportation planners that convened for a 2-month collaboration. Examples of indicators the group focused on are vehicle miles traveled, emissions, and access to goods and services, as well as actual health outcomes such as injuries from vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle collisions.
In September 2011, HIP and partners released the final metrics, relevant health and equity evidence, and methods for measurement, and since then have worked with stakeholders around the state to promote their use, such as in Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS). The Sustainable Communities Strategies are now required in California as part of Regional Transportation Plan updates, following the state legislature's 2008 passage of Senate Bill 375, which intends to reduce to target levels greenhouse gases emissions in each region of the state. To implement the new policy, MPOs in each of the state’s 18 regions are developing SCS plans. In planning processes, MPOs typically select a set of indicators to use as criteria for judging potential scenarios under consideration. It is our hope that the use of health-and equity-based metrics to judge future scenarios will lead to the selection of transportation plans that have better health and equity outcomes.
For the final version of the Health and Equity Metrics for Metropolitan Planning Organizations to consider in their Sustainable Communities Strategy/Regional Transportation process, click here.
For a two-page summary, click here.
For a summary of how SCS plans released to date cover the 13 prioritized metrics, click here.
Examples of Completed Projects Include:
A large piece of industrial land in East Palo Alto (EPA), CA is being redeveloped and EPA may be a site for a future transit station along a new fixed-rail line. Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) and the Community Development Institute (CDI) are leading a collaboration to initiate a community-based planning process that will influence the redevelopment plan. Human Impact Partners facilitated a process in which community health concerns related to the redevelopment were prioritized and also worked with YUCA, CDI and others, including the County Public Health Department, to collect relevant existing conditions data.
Under the Affordable Care Act, non-profit hospitals are required to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) to prioritize health needs using public input and to adopt an implementation strategy to address those needs. HIP worked with the three non-profit hospitals in Marin County, California, through the Healthy Marin Partnership (HMP), to conduct their 2013 CHNA. For this project, we collected and summarized data about health needs. This included: 1) a list of over 150 county-wide health indicators; 2) a demographics and county-wide health indicators report; 3) a report on 29 health indicators at the sub-county level; and 4) a summary of focus groups conducted to obtain input regarding health needs. Key informant interviews about health needs in Marin are also available.
All this information is summarized in Health Need Summaries and a matrix that scores those needs against a set of criteria and lists health drivers. Using this data, we worked with HMP and other stakeholders to create a list of prioritized health needs. A summary of HIP’s process is available.
Human Impact Partners worked with the City of Mountain View, CA and the planning firm MIG to analyze the health impacts of alternatives being considered as part of the city's General Plan Update and integrate health-promoting policies throughout the General Plan.
The Community and Economic Development Agency of Oakland, CA is developing a Specific Plan for the Central Estuary area in the city, and has required the consideration of health impacts in developing the Specific Plan. Human Impact Partners is consulting with the planning team, led by Community Design + Architecture, on this effort. More information about the Estuary project, including our existing conditions analysis and alternatives analysis can be found here. For a brief summary of this project, please click here.
Impacts: While the community preferred alternative was presented to the Oakland City Council for adoption, the City Council was unable to come to consensus and approve the alternative. Rather, the Council approved portions of the alternative and delayed making decisions related to more contentious components. The planning team, including HIP, developed next steps to advance the portions of the land use alternative that were approved and to develop the Plan for those specific areas. We anticipate the final zoning and design guidelines to be adopted in early 2013.
Working with the Labor Project for Working Families, Human Impact Partners conducted an analysis of the health impacts of parental leave on infants, children and mothers. Several bills being considered in the 2011 California legislature proposed changes to paid family leave and HIP’s research was used to inform legislators of the potential health impact of these bills. See the fact sheet and blog post about our research.
Region 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA to incorporate HIA into Environmental Impact Assessment processes on proposed expansion projects in order to·comprehensively analyze potential health impacts and to inform mitigation options. With the goals of increasing understanding of and support for the concept of conducting HIA as part of the EIS/EIR process, the EPA offered to develop a model of a HIA Scope with public input. The EPA contracted with Human Impact Partners to develop this HIA scope and the process included a public meeting to bring stakeholders together for input in February 2010. The scope is now publicly available on the EPA website by clicking here, and HIP and the EPA are taking comments on it. The EPA hosted a call in early September to discuss the scope and potential next steps with stakeholders, with the goal of encouraging HIAs on future port plans and projects. Funding may become available to support a full-scale HIA as well as its recommended mitigations. Read the full report.
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) contracted with HIP to conduct an analysis of data needs for health outcomes and determinants within the county. While there are various efforts to make data available to county stakeholders, SANDAG and HHSA recognized a desire for more geographically relevant health data, particularly related to chronic health conditions and associated behaviors. HIP conducted over a dozen interviews and a focus group with San Diego stakeholders as well as several interviews with non-San Diego agencies who report local-level data. HIP then developed a memo that summarized research findings and made a number of recommendations on future directions related to collecting health data and making it available to communities and other agencies and partners. For a one-page summary of the project, click here.
In late 2011, the Los Angeles Harbor Department released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the BNSF Southern California International Gateway project, an intermodal rail facility near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach where international cargo containers would be transferred directly onto trains bound for inland destinations. HIP, on behalf of community partners, provided comments related to the health evidence supporting potential impacts of the proposed SCIG project and the potential implications of the rise of transloading practices for the DEIR findings. Click here for the comment letter and here for a one-page summary of the project.
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) released a request for proposals (RFP) for architecture and construction services to design and build 100 units of senior and disabled low-income housing near a new light rail station in the South Lincoln area of Denver, CO. DHA had previously developed a set of health-related indicators and targets to guide development in this area. An architecture firm bidding on the project, Buchanan Yonushewski Group, recognized the importance of health in the South Lincoln development and asked Human Impact Partners to participate on its team to provide health analysis and expertise.
Impacts: BYG was awarded the contract and Human Impact Partners provided feedback on design guidelines for the project, particularly in relation to residential noise and air quality exposures, as well as on potential community and site resources that could be supportive of health. Phase-one Tapiz Apartments, a 100-unit LEED-Platinum building, was completed in 2012.
Human Impact Partners convened the West Oakland Health Impact Assessment Working Group in 2007-2008. Participants included community organizations (e.g., West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project), Alameda County Public Health, Alameda County Environmental Health, US Environmental Protection Agency, and City and County elected officials. The group conducted two rapid HIAs on proposed developments, began assessing industrial land use policies, collaborated with UC Berkeley on a HIA of the Port of Oakland, and created a West Oakland Healthy Development Checklist. The final HIA report of the Port of Oakland is available here.
Impacts: The City of Oakland Community and Economic Development Agency has included a request to evaluate health impacts as part of two recent Specific Plan RFPs. Through the Jack London Gateway HIA process and this work, Human Impact Partners built the capacity of many groups and individuals, including community groups and the Alameda County Public Health Department, to participate in HIA. The West Oakland Healthy Development Checklist, available here, was adopted by the West Oakland Project Area Committee for use in evaluating future development in the area.