How do we ensure that are healthcare system thrives financially, while also providing services that reduce health inequities? Holyoke Medical Center wanting to close its award winning Birthing Center is just one example of a larger looming challenge in our state—the need for hospitals to cut services for financial reasons, but risking the ability to provide for the most vulnerable.
PHIWM recommended to the MA Department of Public Health that before any decision like this is made, a Health Impact Assessment should be conducted. Both side can argue passionately and compellingly, however, what is the true impact of a decision? It must be assessed.
A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a research and public engagement process designed to make predictions about how a policy or practice change would impact health and equity. HIAs engage people across silos in a process of deep discussion, bringing data and evidence into the conversation. Check out our Western MA Casino Health Impact Assessment to learn more about HIA.