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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

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Health Impact Assessment

A health impact assessment (HIA) is a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population. HIA can be used to evaluate objectively the potential health affects of a project or policy before it is built or implemented. It can provide recommendations to increase positive health outcomes and minimize adverse health outcomes. A major benefit of the HIA process is that it brings public health issues to the attention of persons who make decisions about areas that fall outside of traditional public health arenas, such as transportation or land use.

HIAs are similar in some ways to environmental impact assessments (EIAs), which are mandated processes that focus on environmental outcomes such as air and water quality. However, unlike EIAs, HIAs can be voluntary or regulatory processes that focus on health outcomes such as obesity, physical inactivity, asthma, injuries, and social equity. The major steps of an HIA include: screening, scoping, assessing risks and benefits, developing recommendations, reporting, and evaluating. Click here for more information about HIAs.

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