The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.
The most urgent health problems facing the country—like obesity, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and injuries—are shaped by the conditions in the places where we live and work. To address skyrocketing medical costs and improve health, we need to take health into account when making the decisions that shape the those places.
One promising way to do that is through the use of health impact assessment (HIA), a type of study that helps policy makers find—and address—the likely health effects of decisions in other fields, 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 related to preventable illnesses and disabilities, finding practical solutions, and leveraging spending outside the health sector to improve the community’s well-being.
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