Estimating the costs and benefits of providing free public transit passes to students in Los Angeles County: lessons learned in applying a health lens to decision-making.
- Author(s): Gase, Lauren N
- Kuo, Tony
- Teutsch, Steven
- Fielding, Jonathan E
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111111384
In spite of increased focus by public health to engage and work with non-health sector partners to improve the health of the general as well as special populations, only a paucity of studies have described and disseminated emerging lessons and promising practices that can be used to undertake this work. This article describes the process used to conduct a Health Impact Assessment of a proposal to provide free public transportation passes to students in Los Angeles County. This illustrative case example describes opportunities and challenges encountered in working with an array of cross-sector partners and highlights four important lessons learned: (1) the benefits and challenges associated with broad conceptualization of public issues; (2) the need for more comprehensive, longitudinal data systems and dynamic simulation models to inform decision-making; (3) the importance of having a comprehensive policy assessment strategy that considers health impacts as well as costs and feasibility; and (4) the need for additional efforts to delineate the interconnectivity between health and other agency priorities. As public health advances cross-sector work in the community, further development of these priorities will help advance meaningful collaboration among all partners.