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Improving Health Through Planning

Planners often make assumptions about the health impacts of various planning approaches: “People will walk more if we provide public transit.” “Housing vacancies negatively impact the safety and well being of residents and the neighborhood.” Sound familiar? Across the country, health professionals and planners are teaming up to more closely examine the health effects of planning-related interventions by using Health Impact Assessments (HIAs). While well tested in the public health field, HIAs are an emerging tool for planners interested in supporting plans and activities that yield positive health impacts.

"Improving Health Through Planning" will explore both the evaluative HIA approach and how to incorporate health impacts into early planning decisions. The unique format of this event will allow participants to attend a roundtable discussion from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and, if interested, a training from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The training will provide very basic information about how to apply the HIA methodology to planning-related projects.

During the roundtable, panelists will discuss the role of health outcomes in early planning decisions, as well as some of assumptions planners make about these outcomes. They will present examples of HIAs already in use around the nation and in Chicago, and will examine their potential for future projects.

Clarita Santos, director of community health initiatives for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, will moderate the roundtable and introduce the panelists: Dr. Rhajiv Bhatia, director of occupational and environmental health, San Francisco Department of Public Health and assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of California San Francisco; Kim Gilhuly, project director at Human Impact Partners, a nonprofit organization that conducts HIAs and trains other groups to conduct them; Dr. Lynn Todman, executive director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

Breakfast will be served at the roundtable, and lunch will be served during the training. You may request a vegetarian meal when you register. Whether you are attending only the roundtable or staying for the training, the cost is $15 for current MPC donors, and $30 for all others.

This event is presented in partnership with the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology and the Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (CEED) @ Chicago.

MPC thanks Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for supporting this event.

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