Health in All Policies (HiAP)
Health is created by many factors beyond just healthcare. Health starts in our families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, playgrounds, and parks. The places where we are born, live, learn, work, play, and age influence our health through social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the efficiency and reliability of our transportation; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships.
Not all places offer the same resources and opportunities. When populations do not have equal opportunities to make choices that lead to good health, health disparities arise. Creating an environment where healthy choices are universally available would give all people an equal opportunity to live a long and healthy life, regardless of their income, education, or ethnic background.
All too often, in many places, the healthy choice is not the easy choice. Health professionals can encourage healthy choices, but the accessibility of healthy choices is largely impacted by sectors traditionally perceived to be unassociated with health (e.g. transportation, housing, public safety, economic development, land use, education, etc.). Addressing the inaccessibility of healthy choices is a shared responsibility. All sectors have a role to play in improving the health of our communities.
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach in Pinellas County to make the healthy choice the most easily accessible choice. HiAP aims to improve the health of all Pinellas residents by increasing cross-sector collaboration around mutually shared goals and incorporating health considerations into decision-making processes across sectors and policy areas.
Trained in the HiAP approach, health planners in Pinellas Park, Pinellas County, and St. Petersburg serve as internal content experts for health planning consultations and recommendations. Health planners can help decision-makers maximize their policies' impact and/or programs' efficiency, as well as ensure decision-makers are well informed on how their proposed policies and programs could potentially impact the health of all communities.
Health planners work with decision-makers to screen which policies or programs would benefit from a health analysis, identify which health impacts to consider, assess the risks and benefits of the policy or program, recommend changes to maximize the health benefits and minimize the health risks, and monitor and evaluate the policy or program's overall health impact.
Through HiAP, the places where people are born, live, learn, work, play, and age can be reshaped to encourage healthy choices, which would grant all Pinellas residents an equal opportunity to live a long and healthy life.
To stay informed or find out how you can become involved, please sign-up for HiAP’s email newsletter via the HiAP Newsletter link in the left navigation.