Health Impact Assessment

The goal of NACCHO’s Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Project is to increase local health department (LHD) staff training and experience in HIA, promote the use of HIA at LHDs, improve community design and built environment decisions by increasing the consideration of health, and ultimately improve community health.

HIA has been defined by the National Research Council as “a systematic process that uses an array of data sources and analytic methods and considers input from stakeholders to determine the potential effects of a proposed policy, plan, program, or project on the health of the population.” HIA provides LHDs with an opportunity to engage their community members, planners, engineers, and non-traditional partners as well as elected officials in the decision-making process while ensuring that the proposed activities and changes support public health, health equity, and environmental justice. 

Through this project, NACCHO works to achieve these goals by assisting LHDs in increasing the use of HIA in community design, transportation, parks and recreation, housing, land use planning decisions, etc.

For more information about NACCHO’s HIA Project please contact the Healthy Community Design Team at healthycommdesign@naccho.org.

Since 2010 NACCHO has supported 20 HIA demonstration site projects at local health departments across the country. These projects have examined topics including: transportation, built environment, healthy food access, land use and planning, and affordable housing.  Each demonstration site is provided a combination of funding, training, technical assistance, and peer mentorship throughout the project period. Use the following resources to learn more about NACCHO’s 2016 HIA demonstration sites.

As Health Impact Assessment practice continues to grow, evaluation is central to understanding the challenges and barriers health departments face related to HIA implementation. In 2014, NACCHO administered online assessments to 14 local health departments that were awarded support from NACCHO’s HIA Project. In 2016, NACCHO assessed three additional funded sites and six unfunded sites. Findings from both assessments were collected in two reports along with relevant recommendations for both local health departments interested in conducting HIAs and organizations that support HIA at the local level. Click the links below to access each report. 

NACCHOs HIA mentorship program began in 2010 with the first cohort of HIA mentors.  These mentors provide technical assistance to HIA sites around the United States. The goal of the mentorship program is to build HIA capacity at local health departments through connecting experienced HIA practitioners with less experiences local health departments.

The following policy statements demonstrate NACCHO's support for health impact assessments at the national level.