September 3, 2014 – Health Impact Assessments
Anchor lead: Getting health professionals involved on the ground floor of municipal projects can benefit all, Elizabeth Tracey reports
How can we maximize the health benefits of municipal projects while keeping an eye out for pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them? That’s the intention of the Health Impact Project, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust. Keisha Pollack, an injury prevention expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, describes one initiative.
Pollack: We get to work with transportation for example and say, as you’re thinking of implementing a new bike share program, let’s think about all the ways you can really maximize the positive health benefits from this and minimize the negative ones, so let’s think about helmet use, let’s think about road design, let’s not just give people bikes but let’s think about ways to really make it safe for people to use bike share. They’ve been doing this sort of work outside the US for a long time. It’s exciting to be part of the group here in the US really thinking about these issues. :29
Pollack says getting everyone to collaborate on such projects makes tax dollars go further and work better for the benefit of everyone. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.