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Creating Tools for Healthy Development: Case Study of San Francisco's Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment

Farhang, Lili MPH; Bhatia, Rajiv MD, MPH; Scully, Cyndy Comerford MA; Corburn, Jason PhD; Gaydos, Megan MPH; Malekafzali, Shireen MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000316484.72759.7b
Commentary
Abstract

The San Francisco Department of Public Health recently completed a 2-year collaborative process, the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment (ENCHIA), to evaluate the potential positive and negative health impacts of land use development. ENCHIA resulted in a number of outcomes, including (1) a vision of a healthy San Francisco; (2) community health objectives to reflect the vision; (3) indicators and data to assess and measure the objectives and vision; (4) a menu of urban development strategies to advance the objectives; and (5) the Healthy Development Measurement Tool, an evidence-based tool to support accountable, comprehensive, evidence-based, and health-oriented planning. This case study describes the 18-month ENCHIA process, key outcomes, and lessons learned. The case study also provides an overview of the Healthy Development Measurement Tool and examples of its first applications to urban planning. Given the growing understanding of built environmental influences on health, ENCHIA illustrates the ability of a local public health agency to effectively engage in land use policy as a health promotion strategy.

In Brief

• This article describes the 18-month ENCHIA process, key outcomes, and lessons learned. This article also provides an overview of the Healthy Development Measurement Tool and examples of its first applications to urban planning.

Author Information

Lili Farhang, MPH, is Project Manager, Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.

Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH, is Director, Occupational and Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California. He is also an assistant clinical professor, Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Cyndy Comerford Scully, MA, is Senior Environmental Health Planner, Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.

Jason Corburn, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, California.

Megan Gaydos, MPH, is Planning and Policy Analyst, Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.

Shireen Malekafzali, MPH, is Research Associate, Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.

Corresponding Author: Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH, San Francisco Department of Public Health, 1390 Market St, Suite 822, San Francisco, CA 94102 (rajiv.bhatia@sfdph.org).

Disclaimer: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

The authors thank the Community Council of the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment for their generous commitment to the process. They also thank the many former members of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment team for their contributions to various aspects of project design and implementation.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.