03/06/2013 - "Health impact assessments have been a mainstay in Europe and other countries for several years, but proponents say they did not appear in the United States until 1999. Now some 200 of these assessments have been completed or are under way here, up from 50 four years ago, said Dr. Aaron Wernham, project director for the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts that helps finance health impact assessments.
'People in the public health world and in the business and development world are waking up to the need to get at health care problems and bring down health care costs,' he said. 'So we see a fair amount of uptake in certain sectors — the health impact assessment is out there and growing.'
A typical assessment comprises six steps that primarily identify a project’s potential health impacts and ways to mitigate them. Community interaction is crucial to the process. In 2009, Mariposa’s assessment by Mithun, an architectural firm, and other organizations, included more than 140 community meetings, held 12 steering committee meetings, and received more than 550 comments."
Read the full article, "Construction That Focuses on the Health of Residents," on the New York Times website.