New health-policy effort launched

A new multi-year $7.2 million project aims to encourage policymakers to consider the health consequences of new policies and develop strategies to increase their effectiveness.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $7.2 million to the Pew Charitable Trusts to manage the Health Impact Project, which will award up to 15 grants of
$25,000 to $150,000 over the next four-and-a-half years.

Funding will be considered for government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofits.

The grants will fund demonstrations of health-impact assessments, decision-making tools to help policymakers identify the health impacts of various policy decisions and find ways to maximize positive effects and mitigate negative ones.

The goal is for the assessments to be used in sectors that typically do not consider the health effects of their decisions, such as transportation, planning, education and housing.

“When decision-makers understand the health implications of a proposed policy, they can make better-informed choices that avoid unintended harm and unexpected
costs,” Aaron Wernham, director of the Health Impact Project, says in a statement.

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