Funding from Kaiser Permanente Colorado Will Support Sustainable HIA Program in Denver Metro Region


10/09/2012 - The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, today announced that Kaiser Permanente Colorado will support one health impact assessment (HIA) program grant, of up to $250,000, in the Denver metropolitan region. Preference will be given to proposals that address transportation-related policies, projects, and plans. This includes land-use decisions related to transportation projects, such as transit oriented design. But, applicants proposing HIAs in all policy areas are welcome to apply. No prior HIA experience is necessary to be eligible for this grant opportunity. Training, technical assistance and mentoring will be provided throughout the grant period.

An HIA helps policy makers identify the likely health impacts of a decision in another field, such as building a major roadway, planning a city’s growth or developing agricultural policy. HIAs can assist decision makers in identifying unintended risks, reducing unnecessary costs, finding practical solutions, and leveraging opportunities to improve the wellness of the community.

“Kaiser Permanente’s investment will help build the skills, experience and collaborations needed to implement a successful HIA program in the Denver metro area,” said Aaron Wernham, M.D., director of the Health Impact Project. “This collaboration will build off of Kaiser’s significant presence in the Denver metro region and strengthen efforts to support well-informed, health-promoting policy decisions.”

As Colorado’s largest nonprofit health plan, Kaiser Permanente Colorado has proudly worked to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 26 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. Kaiser Permanente recognizes that much of a person’s health is determined by where they live, work, play and learn, which is why Kaiser Permanente Colorado invested more than $90 million to community benefit programs in 2011 to improve the health of all Coloradans.

The Health Impact Project grant was made possible by Kaiser Permanente Colorado Community Benefit funding to connect health research to land use and planning decisions, creating healthy communities.

“We must invest in our communities to ensure people have access to education, jobs, housing and healthy choices.  Without places for people to walk/bike or to purchase healthy foods, we will miss the opportunity to create health outside of the medical home,” said Donna Lynne, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado.  “The Health Impact Project will support work with local leaders to determine how health can be supported in Metro Denver communities.”

The HIA program grant of up to $250,000 will allow an organization in the Denver metropolitan region to conduct at least two new HIAs and to implement a plan that establishes the relationships, systems and funding mechanisms needed to maintain a stable, self-supporting HIA program that endures beyond the conclusion of the grant period.

The Health Impact Project will host a conference call for potential applicants on October 18 at 2 p.m. MT. Registration is required.

Applications for the Kaiser Denver metro HIA program grant opportunity are due Wednesday, October 31, 2012, at 5 p.m. MT.

Visit the Health Impact Project Funding Opportunities page to learn more about the announcement and to begin the online application process.

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