By Tina Yuen
(Originally published on 08/29/14)
Health officials from across the country convened at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Conference in Atlanta this summer to discuss the theme of, “The New Era of Public Health: Science, Innovation and Policy.” The annual meeting took place on July 8-10 and gave approximately 730 participants an opportunity to learn about healthy community design and how communities, cities and counties are implementing policy, system and environmental changes that enable healthier choices and improved health outcomes. Jimmy Hills, a research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center, led a one-day Health Impact Assessment (HIA) 101 training to equip public health professionals to assess local planning projects and propose solutions that will promote positive health effects and minimize adverse health effects. Additional sessions discussed local health department participation in healthy community design decision-making, health equity implications of climate change, healthy corner stores, healthy homes, and brownsfields redevelopment. Engagement in sessions pertaining to the impact of the built environment on public health showed an interest amongst local health departments in addressing these upstream determinants of health and equity. For more information about NACCHO’s ongoing work and upcoming events, please visit their website.