Hospitals and Community Health HIA Made Public

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Piedmont Hospital is an example of an anchor institution which can impact surrounding neighborhoods. It is set in a largely residential neighborhood, but also adjacent to Atlanta’s signature Peachtree Corridor and located in one of the BeltLine’s key redevelopment nodes. Considerable public and private investment is planned this area in the near future.

Georgia Tech’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has conducted a Health Impact Assessment, or HIA, to assess the public health impacts on people living and working near a large hospital. This research created the "Hospitals and Community Health HIA."

HIA is a process that uses a variety of methods and approaches to identify and measure potential health impacts, both positive and negative, that may result from a particular policy, project, or practice. For instance, potential health impacts in the Piedmont Hospital area included opportunities for physical activity; safety from injuries; safety from crime; social capital; and environmental quality including air pollution, noise, and sanitation. It can also impact social equity and access to health determinants such as nutritious food, health care, parks, housing, education, and employment.

To conduct the Hospitals and Community Health HIA, the research team:
• Involved community members and stakeholders
• Assessed current and future conditions in the area utilizing audits, surveys, and plan review
• Created an assessment of health-related impacts on the study area, based on existing research and analysis of current and future conditions
• Drafted a report on their findings, recommendations, and implementation strategies

Findings were presented to neighborhood organizations, city officials, and county commissioners. The final report was published in June 2008 and released subsequent to approval from the funding agency. Neighborhood residents were extremely interested in the report due to their longstanding health and safety concerns regarding the hospital and the extensive redevelopment of the area. Residents quickly took ownership of the health impact assessment (HIA) findings and recommendations and shared them with their neighbors. They also formed a working group (a primary recommendation coming out of the HIA) that reached out to Piedmont Hospital requesting better community relations and implementation of the HIA recommendations. Hospital staff responded positively this time and are now meeting regularly with the community group.

The Hospitals and Community Health HIA, made possible by a research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study built on the Atlanta BeltLine Health Impact Assessment, completed in May 2007.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Michelle Marcus
  • Created: 07/22/2009
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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