Health Impact Assessments
A Health Impact Assessment (HAI) evaluates the potential human health effects of new policies, programs, or development projects (such as mines) through the use of existing public health surveillance data, medical literature reviews, and field studies. HIAs are conducted as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process in permitting a mine or other large-scale development. The state of Alaska does not require HIAs, but views them as one aspect of a “best practices” approach to responsible development. For examples of HIAs conducted in Alaska, visit the Health Impact Project’s map of all the HIAs conducted in the United States.
Types of HIA:
Desktop assessment collects and analyzes existing data to provide an overview of health impacts. It is completed in a matter of weeks.
- Rapid Assessment compiles existing information, catalogs data gaps about the baseline health status of potentially impacted communities, and makes recommendations. The rapid assessment process takes several months.
- Comprehensive Assessment is essentially a Rapid Assessment along with research that fills in the data gaps. It can take upwards of a year to complete.
- Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Health Impact Assessment Program The program conducts HIAs for development projects in Alaska. Its website has contact information for the program managers, information about current HIAs, and the Technical Guidance for Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in Alaska toolkit.
- UCLA Health Impact Assessment Clearinghouse. Tons of resources on HIAs, including articles and reports, organizations providing assistance on HIAs, possible funding sources, and extensive information on methods for conducting HIAs
- The Health Impact Project is a national initiative designed to promote the use of health impact assessments as a decision-making tool for policymakers.
- MAP of all the HIA’s conducted in Alaska. Click on Alaska image below the main US map to get to the map of HIAs in Alaska. Holding the cursor over the dot marking an HIA on the map brings up basic information about the HIA. If you click on the name of the HIA or on “more”, you will go to a page with more information about it, including a downloadable version of the full HIA report.
- Listing of HIA toolkits and guides
- Centers for Disease Control HIA webpage
- World Health Organization HIA webpage. Contains information about HIAs including, toolkits, methodology, HIA and policy, news, and sample HIAs for various sectors, including mining.
- Planning for Healthy Places with Health Impact Assessments. This is a free, six-hour online course about HIAs.
- International Council on Mining and Metals Good Practice Guidance on HIA
- Health Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide (University of New South Wales, 2007).
- Alaska HIA Program Powerpoint (from “Intro to HIA” PowerPoint Presentation)
- HIA and NEPA (from “Introduction to HIA” PowerPoint)
- Health Impact Assessment: Process and Evaluation Overview
Alaska Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Program Contact Information
3601 C Street, Suite 540
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Paul Anderson M.D., M.P.H.
HIA Program Manager
HIA Project Manager