Designing healthy communities requires thinking about how all non-health related policies impact the population’s health. The Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach embodies the principle that all policies and laws enacted by governments (Federal, State and Local) be designed and implemented to maximize their positive effects on health (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

The strategies used to implement a HiAP approach are still developing and require cross-sectoral collaborations all committed to “working across portfolio boundaries to achieve a shared goal and an integrated government response to particular issues” (Kickbush and Bucket, 2010).

The most high profile example of HiAP in action is the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council that was established through the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (national health care reform law). This council brings together cabinet secretaries and agency heads to develop a national prevention strategy, encouraging them to think how their interests are best served by a healthy population and how their actions impact that goal.

In Massachusetts the Healthy Transportation Compact is an example of law that uses a HiAP approach to understand how transportation related decisions impact population health.

Learn More about HiAP

See HiAP in Action


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.