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 two HIAs: one on a proposed Green Zone policy in the City of Minneapolis and one on the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan being conducted with MnDOT. In addition, MDH is completing a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Design Process HIA in partnership with the Metropolitan Council. MDH completed the Gary/New Duluth Small Area Plan HIA in 2014 and the Lincoln Park Small Area Plan HIA in 2015 in partnership with the City of Duluth, and the Winona County Active Living Plan HIA in 2015 in partnership with Winona County.
- Providing technical assistance: MDH is currently providing technical assistance to the Region Nine Development Commission’s Climate Adaptation Plan HIA. MDH has also recently provided 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 HIA work is supported by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.