National Academy of Medicine

Ounces of Prevention: Health Impact Assessments Can Help Improve Public Policy, Health Outcomes

By Aaron Wernham
January 11, 2013 | Commentary

When I was a resident, I cared for an asthmatic boy who had been in and out of the hospital 3 times in 8 weeks. Each time, we sent him home with an escalating regimen of medications, and each time, his symptoms only worsened. After his mother told me that they lived in a run-down apartment with dusty carpeting and mold-ridden walls, I remember asking the attending physician, only half joking, whether there was a way to write a prescription for a new apartment.


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