Health Council of East Central Florida to Conduct Parramore Health Impact Assessment

The Health Council of East Central Florida (HCECF) will conduct a health impact assessment (HIA) on the Parramore community in Orlando thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) approved in December.

It will be conducted in partnership with the WPHF HIA Steering Committee, the City of Orlando, the UCF College of Public Administration and VHB Miller-Sellen (VHB), a local private sector planning and engineering firm.

In addition, the grant includes funds for HCECF to develop a web-based resource with HIA information for HIA practitioners in Central Florida.

According to Lisa Portelli, WPHF Program Director, Community Health, the work group’s strategies for 2012 and beyond include exploring the potential of using the HIA as a tool for influencing healthier infrastructure throughout region. Toward that goal, the HIA Steering Committee has formed a marketing subcommittee that is working to promote the use of HIAs by identifying opportunities to conduct HIA’s that will raise awareness of the tool.

(An HIA is a combination of research and analysis procedures and methods that help decision-makers understand the health implications of a proposed development, policy, or procedural change.)

The Parramore HIA will provide valuable community health information for consideration in the planning and visioning process currently being undertaken by the City of Orlando for the Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan.

UCF will assist by incorporating this HIA into the Planning Healthy Communities course in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program during spring of 2014. The students in this class will conduct an HIA on the first draft of the community plan and provide recommendations based on HIA theory.

The HCECF will assist UCF with this project, oversee the student work and prepare a professional report to be submitted to the City of Orlando in May 2014.

“This is a rare opportunity for the students as the timeline for the Parramore planning process directly aligns with the timeline for the class” said Ms. Portelli, who also is Coordinator of the HIA Steering Committee and the Adjunct Instructor at UCF for the Planning Healthy Communities class.

An HIA report for the Parramore community will be finalized and published by the close of the UCF spring semester.

This report will be provided to the City of Orlando and others for consideration in developing the Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan. The hope is it can influence programs, policies and development leading to a healthy community.