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Health Impact Assessment

Florida Department of Health - Hillsborough County

What is a Health Impact Assessment?

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a practice that aims to protect and promote health and to reduce inequities in health during a decision-making process (Bhatia, et al., 2014). It is a step by step process that explores the possible positive and negative health effects of a proposed plan, project, program, or policy.

Why Conduct an HIA?

This process evaluates both the obvious and not so obvious effects of the proposed plan and makes recommendations for improvements. HIAs are guided by the principles of equity and the wider determinants of health.

Health Impact Assessment Process Diagram.  The diagram depicts the six elements of the Health Impact Assessment Process: Screening, Scoping, Assessment, Recommendations, Reporting, Monitoring & Evaluation.

The six steps of the Health Impact Assessment process
(Source: Mecklenburg County, North
Carolina Health Department).

 Completed Health Impact Assessments

EPA Brownfields Redevelopment Area-Wide Plan HIA:

Evaluated the health impacts of constructing a community park, establishing a community garden and improving community walkability in the University Area. These community assets would provide safe places for children and other residents to play outdoors, increase residents’ access to fresh food and services, thus improving the overall health of our community.


George Road Complete Streets HIA:

Evaluated the health effects of constructing a complete street connecting two trailways in the George Road area. This would improve the overall health of our community by increasing outdoor activities such as walking, biking and using trails. This HIA was conducted in collaboration with the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization.


Parks and Recreation HIA:

Evaluated the health effects of a policy that would permit local businesses to provide outdoor exercise classes in public parks at no cost to the community. This would potentially increase the use of local parks and provide physical activity opportunities for adults, thus improving the overall well-being of the community.