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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrew Dannenberg
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics vary for each quarter, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Class description

Health impact assessment (HIA) is a public health tool used to inform decision-makers about the potential health impacts of proposed projects, programs, and policies that do not traditionally focus on health outcomes (e.g. transportation, education, housing), but are likely to affect the publicís health. While HIAs are commonly used in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, they are a new and emerging practice in the United States ( This course is particularly appropriate for students interested in the links between public health and community design. In the course, students will first consider the rationale for conducting HIAs, learn the necessary steps to conduct an HIA, review national and international case studies, and discuss how HIA findings may impact decision making. Then students will work with a local public agency to conduct a detailed HIA of a specific current proposed project; the resulting report including recommendations will be presented to that agency. For example, the report of the HIA completed for the Seattle Department of Transportation in the Spring 2011 class is posted on the web at

Student learning goals

Describe the purpose, benefits, and challenges of using health impact assessments to convey information about health to decision-makers

Describe the core steps used to conduct HIAs including screening, scoping, assessment, making recommendations, reporting, and evaluation

Summarize the similarities and differences in using HIA as an approach separate from Environmental Impact Assessments

Collaborate effectively with others in completing an HIA in an interdisciplinary environment

Explain the application of HIAs to the policymaking process

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Prior classes and/or experience in health and built environment, health policy, and urban planning issues are helpful but not required

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Andrew Dannenberg
Date: 03/12/2012