Log in


Held: March 7-8, 2016; Oakland, California

The 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop was a tremendous success with a variety of exciting and insightful sessions and discussions. We would like to thank everyone who helped in making this event a great success. The Workshop could not have been held without the very generous support of the Health Impact Project, Human Impact Partners, Georgia Health Policy Center and Oregon Public Health Institute. We also want to thank all participants of the Workshop for their enthusiastic engagement and generous sharing of their ideas. Special thanks to our international panelists Margaret Douglas, Fiona Haigh and Marcelo Korc for traveling across the globe and offering their valuable insights on HIA practice.

“The workshop was very helpful for me as it gave me an opportunity to network with my peers and it also broadened my perspective to hear from international HIA practitioners.“– 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant

Workshop Highlights

SOPHIA in Action

The 2016 Workshop started with words of welcome from Tatiana Lin, President of SOPHIA. Following the welcome, the attendees learned about SOPHIA accomplishments over the past 12 months from SOPHIA’s director, Nancy Goff. The list of accomplishments included new services SOPHIA provides, such as Practitioner Stories, Practitioner Profiles, an updated newsletter, the upcoming HIA Journal (Chronicles of Health Impact Assessment), a dynamic website, a great membership base of 240 members, increased networking opportunties and exciting partnerships with national and international HIA organizations. Three Working Groups from the 2014 Workshop (Equity, Stakeholder Engagement and Health in All Policies) have developed resources for the field that were showcased. These and other activities are highlighted in the new SOPHIA Strategic Plan which was developed by a group of twenty-five SOPHIA members in June 2015 at the National HIA Meeting and refined by the Steering Committee. The Workshop attendees received a sneak peak of the new Strategic Plan.

“It’s refreshing to come to this meeting and feel like we have time to be thoughtful about where the field is headed and what we can do to advance it.” — 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant

Keynote International Panel

We were very fortunate to have three excellent keynote speakers—Margaret Douglas, NHS Lothian, Scotland; Fiona Haigh, University of New South Wales, Australia; and Marcelo Korc, Pan American Health Organization share their HIA experiences from an international lens. All panelists delivered excellent presentations about HIA practice across the globe. The panelists emphasized the importance of speaking the language of other sectors. According to Marcelo, “We are not going to succeed if we don’t learn the language of other sectors…” Margaret challenged HIA practitioners to continue meaningful engagement of policymakers and stakeholders in all steps of an HIA. She emphasized that the partnership approach will “add resources, expertise, skills and help influence minds as well as actions.” Fiona wrapped up the panel session by providing insights into HIA practice in Bhutan and highlighting the need for and added value of different types of HIAs such as—mandated, decision-support, advocacy and community-led.

“It was great to get new perspectives especially from an international lens.” — 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant


Presentation slides:

Margaret Douglas, More art than science? HIA as a partnership activity in Scotland

Fiona Haigh, Institutionalizing HIA: A Cross-Country Comparison

Marcelo Korc, HIAs from a Human Security Approach Perspective in Latin America and the Caribbean

Lightning Talks

Lightning talks are short and snappy 5-minute presentations that aim to communicate an idea or an experience to an audience. The goal is to keep the content of the slides and ideas flowing. The result is powerful and entertaining! The focus of this year’s Lightning Talks was Advancing the Practice of HIA. Health, evidence-based decision-making, cross-sectorial collaboration, stakeholder engagement and democracy were among the key themes highlighted by seven presenters during the Lightning Talks session. The session attendees heard about the recent HIA efforts being undertaken across the United States to integrate health considerations into decisions related to coal plants, a green building certification program, urban agriculture and the criminal justice system. Further, practitioners learned about the working draft of a new tool— Health in All Policies Screening Guide— developed to assist in identifying appropriate HiAP strategies across various sectors. While the tool is currently available in draft form, it will be shared for public comment this spring, so stay tuned. Finally, the talk on Supporting Critical Voices through HIA Stakeholder focused on the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement and the journey of the Drug Sentencing Reform HIA demonstrated the essential role of formerly incarcerated individuals in shaping the HIA scope, findings and recommendations.

“I like the opportunity to hear about the work others are doing and to understand some of the challenges the field is facing.” – 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant

SOPHIA Working Groups

The 2016 Practitioner Workshop stayed true to its tradition of generating new ideas through a series of comprehensive working group sessions. This year’s working groups included equity; stakeholder engagement; advancing the practice at federal, state and regional levels; HIA reporting; monitoring and evaluation; bringing HIA into health care; using political theory to inform the HIA process; and HiAP strategies. The full list of working groups is available here. The working group participants engaged in stimulating conversions and brainstormed and prioritized ideas for future work. The groups will continue to meet during the next 18 months to develop products to support and advance HIA practice.


“The new resources that come out of the workshop are so helpful. I provide support to a number of practitioners across the country, and I often rely on SOPHIA products like the equity metrics and stakeholder engagement resources when sharing guidance.” — 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant

Engaging the Audience

The Workshop agenda offered a unique blend of activities—presentations, panels, workshops, graphic recording exercises and games! During the first day of the workshop, attendees played Bingo to learn about each other and network. The second day of the workshop engaged participants in discussing trends in HIA practice by participating in a friendly Family Feud-style competition. The contestants answered questions about the sustainability of HIA practice, which sectors are ripe with opportunities for HIA, and favorite HIA steps. A large group discussion about sustaining HIA practice followed the game show.

The final session of the Workshop was a Cafe Style session where participants rotated around tables and answered a series of questions about the future of HIA by graphically depicting their answers. Finally, as usual the Workshop agenda had plenty of time for networking built in throughout.

“The contacts I made will be valuable for future collaborations.” — 2016 HIA Practitioner Workshop Participant


Opportunities to Stay Engaged with SOPHIA

SOPHIA Strategic Plan

The SOPHIA Strategic Plan includes four strategic directions: 1) Provide valuable, high quality resources, 2) Increase the visibility of SOPHIA, 3) Grow SOPHIA’s membership, and 4) Ensure SOPHIA sustainability. Please review the draft Strategic Plan

SOPHIA Working Groups

Join SOPHIA working groups to provide your expertise and contribute to the development of great tools and products for advancing HIA practice. To learn more about the workgroups and opportunities to engage click here.

Meeting Materials

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Thank you to the HIA Practitioner Workshop’s generous sponsors!

Gold Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software