Environmental Health Policy Guides

Environmental health is concerned with how interactions between humans and their environments impact human health. The field emerged to protect people from chemical or biological threats in their environment like air pollution and waterborne diseases. More recently, the field focuses on creating health promoting environments, such as homes, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and communities.

Human-environment interactions are complex, and issues are often under the jurisdiction of multiple agencies or organizations. For example, environmental agencies may be responsible for air and water quality and natural resource agencies for energy creation. Therefore, improving overall population health necessitates cross-sectoral collaboration on policies, programs, and projects. HiAP provides a framework for working with other sectors to address these multifaceted issues.

In order to promote the cross-sector collaborations taking place at the local, state and federal levels, ASTHO is developing a series of topic-specific, evidence-based policy guides. The guides catalogue policies and programs that link environmental issues that have benefited from a health perspective. These guides are developed with feedback from a range of subject matter experts, CDC, as well as ASTHO’s HiAP Steering Committee and Advisory Groups.

Housing Policy Guides

ASTHO’s third set of policy guides identify successful cross-sector partnerships where health has been incorporated into state and federal housing programs and initiatives. The six guides include: (1) an introduction to housing and HiAP, (2) aging in place, (3) access to public transportation, (4) mental health and social cohesion, (5) crime prevention through environmental design, and (6) state and federal financing opportunities.

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Food Policy Guides

ASTHO’s second set of policy guides aim to showcase state and federal programs, initiatives, and policies that exemplify fruitful cross-sector partnerships and improve our overall food safety system. The seven guides feature an introduction to HiAP, as well as policies and programs that (1) enable access to healthy food choices, (2) improve school nutrition, (3) promote food safety, (4) enhance food defense, (5) support safe food production, and (6) reduce food contamination during transport.

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Transportation Policy Guides

ASTHO has developed a series of transportation, land use, and community design cross-sectoral, evidence-based policy guides. The guides were developed using multiple resources from credible sources that catalogue policies that link transportations and health. Other sources of information for the guide came from feedback from CDC, national transportation experts, ASTHO’s HiAP Steering Committee and Advisory Groups, and ASTHO’s communications team. The guides are organized by broad policy concepts and more specific policy suggestions.

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Water Policy Guides

ASTHO has developed a series of policy guides that identify federal, state and local policies, programs, and initiatives that have successfully incorporated a HiAP approach to improve water quality and quantity. HiAP efforts bring together diverse stakeholders to improve health while advancing other goals. There are many ways to integrate HiAP approaches into water management, and the corresponding guides showcase some successful examples. The guides are organized by broad themes, and include more specific program and policy suggestions within each document.

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