How Can Health Impact Assessments Lead to Better Policy Decisions?

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HIAs_brief_thumbMany of the biggest policy decisions that impact our well-being are made outside of the health and healthcare sectors.  For example, local zoning and transportation planning, state budget decisions, and federal agriculture and energy policies can all impact our health.

Health impact assessments (HIAs) allow policy-makers to consider how proposed policies that may seem unrelated to health would affect health, and could be used to improve it. HIAs can also help marshal community support for a project, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and offer benefits for businesses.