Health Impact Assessment

The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (HEP), an initiative at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, believes every New Mexican should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life, to live in neighborhoods where our children and families thrive and have a say in the decisions that impact their communities. We train residents and community groups on how to make a more compelling case with greater impact when engaging policymakers on issues they care most about. One critical tool that we provide and teach is the Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Through the HIA, advocates and residents learn how to collect and utilize data that can inform policy change, and hold decision makers more accountable. The HIA is an effective means in empowering and elevating community members’ voices. HIA has produced the following results:

  • It builds leadership. Community members learn how to navigate the political system. They become more knowledgeable about decision making processes, and they become more comfortable with speaking before decision makers.
  • It commands attention from decision makers and leads to the adoption of community recommendations.
  • It fosters communication and collaboration among disparate groups that previously did not have good relationships.

A forthcoming report, by New Stories to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights HIA as a best practice. The NMHEP members are noted as STARS as communities coming together to inform policies to improve health via HIA. The report notes that what is particularly relevant in New Mexico is that HIA’s are being used by enough people in enough communities that they are creating a common vocabulary for action and learning.


Since 2012, HEP has supported 16 community groups to conduct HIAs. We recognize the complex work HIA teams are engaged in requires a long-term commitment from HEP. Via surveys and dialogues with HIA teams, we have heard that there is a need to support HIA teams after the HIA report is complete. Suggestions for ongoing assistance has included additional funding support for monitoring and evaluation; updating maps and data; small group gatherings to educate decision makers and the public utilizing HIA recommendations; and creative communications products and arts to effectively communicate the HIA findings and recommendations. In 2019, HEP will offer follow-up small grants (~$2,500) and technical assistance to support HIA teams to advance their efforts in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley and San Juan counties. You can view the application here. Applications are due by May 31, 2019 @ 11:59 pm. You are encouraged to contact HEP about your idea before completing the application. We are happy to provide guidance and feedback.

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