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Georgia Department of Public Health

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

The Healthy Community Design Initiative, also known as the Built Environment and Health Initiative, is no longer a funded program and the information on this website is not being reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

 

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) HIA Program provides practical recommendations for policymakers, regulators, planners, community members and other stakeholders on ways to improve health and build safe, thriving communities. The goal of the program is to reduce morbidity, mortality, and health disparities by building partnerships that promote evidence-based approaches for decision-making, increasing awareness of and capacity for HIA, and promoting two-way education between DPH and community members.

Program Contact:

Faith Flack

Program Webpage

2014–2016 HIA Accomplishments

Chatham County Wellness Park in Savannah

This HIA examined the creation of a wellness park on the site of a former health department building. The proposed wellness park would feature an exercise course, outdoor classrooms, raised vegetable gardens, and wetland trails. This HIA examined the health impact of the proposed wellness park on potential users, adjacent residents, and land development. The wellness park planning committee is using the HIA findings and recommendations to develop a proposal for the Chatham County Commission.

Public Transit Expansion in Clayton County

This HIA assessed the benefits of expanding the Metro Atlanta Regional Transit Authority System (MARTA) into Clayton County to allow easier access (particularly for underserved populations) to employment, healthcare, and education. Clayton County residents are 82% percent Black/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino, with almost 25% below the age of 15, and 22% living below the poverty level. The HIA recommendations given to MARTA included specific bus stop locations, appropriate traffic signals, and improved pedestrian safety features. MARTA has expanded bus transit in Clayton County and is placing more emphasis on community input. Georgia DPH will continue to assess community health impacts of the expansion.

Westside Reservoir Park in Fulton County

This HIA identified health impact considerations for a proposed 300-acre park. A former granite quarry along Atlanta’s proposed BeltLine is the suggested location for a 1.9 billion gallon water reservoir and a new park. This HIA helped establish community concerns and environmental impacts of the park proposal. HIA findings were given to the BeltLine committee. Georgia DPH is waiting to hear if the committee will adopt the HIA recommendations.

Tools and Resources for HIA Practitioners

The Georgia Department of Health’s Health Impact Assessment Program

  • Conducted HIA trainings and webinars for county health and planning professionals
  • Developed HIA education materials and distributed them at their trainings and webinars
  • Began work on a Neighborhood Observation Checklist to help citizens identify and evaluate conditions that may affect public health during community redevelopment.

Partners

  • Chatham County Health Department
  • Georgia Health Policy Center
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