Where we live, work, and play can impact our health as much as the individual choices we make. The Health Department is looking at how to include health in part of the decision-making process for growth and development of Eau Claire County. Health Impact Assessments are one way to ensure that health is considered in these and other important decisions. Health Impact Assessment allows us to consider health equally with economic, social and political factors that affect decisions about the future of our community.
What is Health Impact Assessment?
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that identifies and addresses the likely health impacts of a decision or policy that is not directly related to improving health, such as building a major highway or revitalizing a neighborhood. HIA can help decision-makers identify unintended risks, reduce unnecessary costs, and find practical solutions that will provide health benefits for the community. The recommendations of an HIA are rooted in scientific reports and studies, and incorporate feedback from community members.
Why complete a Health Impact Assessment?
HIAs have been widely used in communities across the United States to evaluate the potential impacts of proposed policy, projects, or programs on health. In 2013, the Health Chapter was adopted as part of the Eau Claire Comprehensive Plan. The Health Chapter recommends exploring the use of HIA and piloting an HIA on public or private projects. We are working with a team of community members to pilot HIA on the Cannery District redevelopment project.
This pilot HIA will help our community consider how health improvement can be incorporated into decisions about the growth and development of Eau Claire. HIA is also a helpful method to involve community members in the decision process. By working closely with our community members and community leaders, we can continually improve the vibrancy and health of Eau Claire!
In 2015, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department and several community partners received a 2-year grant from the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. The goal of this research grant is to understand how to best incorporate health in the process for developing and planning the spaces where we live, work, and play. As part of this project, the partnership is piloting the use of Health Impact Assessment as a tool to evaluate potential positive and negative health impacts resulting from community development projects, specifically the Cannery Redevelopment. View the one-page summary of the Transforming Eau Claire project.
- City of Eau Claire Planning Department
- Eau Claire City-County Health Department
- Eau Claire Healthy Communities
- Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope (JONAH)
- Mayo Clinic Health System
- Medical College of Wisconsin
How can I get involved?
Regular updates will be posted here about the progress of the HIA. If you’d like to know more about the project or have questions, please contact the Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (715) 839-4718.Resources & Information:
2017 Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes:
- June Eau Claire Area Minutes
- June Neighborhood Minutes
- April Eau Claire Area Minutes
- April Neighborhood Minutes
- February Eau Claire Area Minutes
- February Neighborhood Minutes
2016 Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes: