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Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program (NUPAO)
AZ Healthy Communities
Making the healthy choice the easy choice.
Where you live impacts your health, and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has recognized this connection. Working collaboratively with outside agencies, ADHS plans to help foster environments that support healthy behavior, such as biking and walking.
The purpose of AZ Healthy Communities is to link and support Arizona communities that are using, or are interested in using, collaborative approaches to healthy community planning and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. AZ Healthy Communities strives to increase neighborhoods that promote healthier lifestyles, increase evidence on the effectiveness of innovative healthy community planning, and decrease health and social inequities by focusing on the influence of where we live.
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
Developing an HIA
Health Impact Assessments (HIA) are a data-driven tool used to assess the potential health impact a policy, procedure or program may have. During an HIA process, public and private sector partners come together to understand health consequences, mitigations for these potential consequences, and to ensure the voice of the community is recognized throughout the HIA process. HIAs have been used to address the impacts of a variety of policies and programs, including transportation, urban development, and zoning policies. Developing an HIA is a six-step process:
- Screening: Determines whether an HIA is necessary, feasible and likely to impact the decision making process for a specific policy or program.
- Scoping: Identifies the focus of the HIA and the health effects it should highlight.
- Assessment: Describes the baseline health of a community and predicts potential health impacts of a policy. Multiple research methods are used in this stage, such as literature review, qualitative and quantitative methods and cost-benefit analysis. The assessment is based on solely science and is impartial.
- Recommendations: Provides recommendations to the decision-making body that will mitigate negative health consequences and highlight specific actions for who is to implement and monitor each recommendation.
- Reporting: Disseminates findings to stakeholders, decision makers and community. The resulting product is a report, and a request to the public for feedback.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: Continuously monitors and evaluates the HIA's process, impacts and outcomes. Indicators are used throughout the HIA process, decision making process, and to track resulting health outcomes.
Health in Policy and Practice (HIP2) is a catalyst for healthy communities throughout Arizona. They conduct HIAs and provide trainings, mentorship, and resources to increase statewide capacity for health in all policy efforts. Key partners in HIP2 include American Planning Association Arizona Chapter (APAAZ), Sonoran Institute, Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH), Livable Communities Coalition, St. Luke's Health Initiative, Arizona Department of Health Services, and ASU School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning.
- Screening Criteria Checklist
This checklist, created by Change Lab Solutions, provides guidance for identifying whether a HIA would benefit a policy, project or program decision. This screening checklist describes a two-step process; first, potential HIAs should be screened first at the Tier 1 level, followed by screening at the Tier 2 level. This process provides a detailed analysis of a whether a HIA is deemed feasible and appropriate.
- Human Impact Partners
Human Impact Partner's goal is to transform the policies and places people need to live healthy lives.
- Health Impact Project
Promotes the use of Health Impact Assessments as policy making tools, provides research and data, and provides technical assistance to those doing HIAs. Health Impact Project is in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.
- WHO Health Impact Assessment
Supplies basic information on HIAs along with examples across all sectors, tools, and evidence to support HIA use.
- Active Living Research
A national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, providing research assessment tools, research, webinars and reports on healthy community topics, such as access to parks, active transportation (such as biking and walking), air quality and urban design.