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.
From 2009-2017, MDH’s HIA initiative focused on building our collective capacity to evaluate the health effects of projects and policies. While the initiative is no longer funded, MDH continues to serve as a reference for those interested in advancing HIA by maintaining records and resources related to HIA in Minnesota. Highlights of the initiative's past work include the following:
- Technical assistance: MDH provided technical assistance to over 10 HIAs in Minnesota and other states, including Delaware and Georgia.
- HIA training: MDH provided HIA training to local communities, organizations and agencies in Minnesota and other states through in-person trainings and conferences.
- MN HIA Coalition: MDH facilitated the MN HIA Coalition, which convened from 2013-2017. The Coalition represented a diverse group of professionals who organized to promote the use of HIA, share information and collaborate. The Coalition also created a Minnesota HIA Action Guide (PDF) to advance HIA capacity and understanding in Minnesota.
- HIA Projects: Since 2009, MDH performed several HIAs on policies/plans, including comprehensive, residential development and transportation plans. The most recent HIA led by MDH was the 2016 Minnesota Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan HIA. The HIAs were 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.
For more information about HIAs in Minnesota, see the HIA in Minnesota webpage.