Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
Promoting health in all projects and policies
Our health is affected by decisions made daily in arenas outside of public health, such as in transportation, housing, and education. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) supports Health Impact Assessments (HIA) as a tool to ensure that health is considered in these and other important decisions. HIA is a systematic process used by organizations and community groups to provide decision-makers with information about how any policy, program or project may affect the health of people. HIA emphasizes a comprehensive approach to health, which includes economic, political, social, psychological, and environmental factors that influence people’s health.
MDH’s HIA initiative focuses on building our collective capacity to evaluate the health effects of projects and policies by the following activities:
- Performing HIAs: MDH is currently coordinating the following HIAs: Lincoln Park Small Area Plan HIA in partnership with the City of Duluth, Winona County Active Living Plan HIA in partnership with Winona County, GreenZone HIA in Minneapolis, and Met Council TOD Design Process HIA in partnership with the Met Council. MDH and the City of Duluth completed the Gary/New Duluth Small Area Plan HIA in 2014.
- Providing technical assistance: MDH is currently providing technical assistance to the Highway 61 Streetscape Redesign HIA in Grand Marais and the Marshall GreenStep Cities HIA in Marshall. MDH served on Advisory Committees for the Bottineau Transitway HIA, the St. Paul Emerald Ash Borer Policy HIA, and the Minnesota School Location and Design HIA, and provided technical assistance to Delaware Greenways for the Fort DuPont Redevelopment HIA and to the Georgia Department of Public Health for the Second Street Redevelopment Plan HIA in Macon.
- Providing HIA training: MDH provides HIA training to local partners and agencies in Minnesota.
- Facilitating the MN HIA Coalition: The MN HIA Coalition is a diverse group of professionals from government agencies, nonprofit and advocacy groups, health care organizations, and foundations interested in incorporating health into decision-making through HIA.
- Sharing information on HIA: Join our listserv to get the latest news and information on HIA in Minnesota by clicking the “Get Email Updates” link in the upper-right hand menu on this page.
MDH's current HIA work is supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.