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The Social Determinants of Health



The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are factors within the environments where people live that affect their health, such as their physical environment, neighborhood, education, social support, employment, socioeconomic status, and access to health care. These environmental conditions affect people as they are born, live, learn, play, work, worship, and age, modifying health risks, health functioning, and the quality of life. The significant impact of the Social Determinants of Health to individuals and societal health becomes a major consideration for health ministries. Some of the organizations and focal areas are listed:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/index.htm)
The CDC provides a website hosting resources for the Social Determinants of Health, including data, research, and tools, programs, and policy information. The five key areas are identified within a place-based framework, including Healthcare Access and Quality, Education Access and Quality, Social and Community Context, Economic Stability, and Neighborhood and Built Environment. These same key areas are utilized by the Healthy People program. Data sources are available on the CDC, including state and large metropolitan area data for chronic disease indicators, chronic kidney disease surveillance, Compendium of datasets addressing health disparities, state disability and health data (with datasets for HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, and TB), the Social Vulnerability index, and a Vulnerable Populations Footprint Tool available at https://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/data/index.htm. CDC lists tools for incorporating the Social Determinants of Health into action, which are available at: 
https://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/tools/index.htm.


Healthy People (https://health.gov/healthypeople)
Healthy People is a program coordinated by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Each decade since inception by the Surgeon General in 1979 Healthy People has identified the Leading Health Indicators and developed objectives for improving the health and well-being of our population. Currently there are three major focal areas, the Leading Health Indicators, the Social Determinants of Health, and the Overall Health and Well-Being Measures

A promotional toolkit for Healthy People 2030 is available at: https://health.gov/our-work/national-health-initiatives/healthy-people/healthy-people-2030/promoting-healthy-people-2030

Healthy People groups the social determinants of health into 5 domains, including Economic Stability, Education Access and QualityHealth Care Access and Quality, Neighborhood and Built Environment, and Social and Community Context.

Consider using these goals and objectives in your health ministry goals and data monitoring to reflect concrete measures of program outcomes: https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/social-determinants-health


Kaiser Family Foundation now called KFF (https://www.kff.org/)
The Kaiser Family Foundation was established by Henry J. Kaiser in 1948 and was redeveloped in 1991 under a corporate structure that is no longer a family foundation. Although the name remains the same, the organization is now referred to as KFF. KFF remains a nonprofit organization developing trusted nonpartisan factual sources for analysis and journalism to promote national health issues and the national role  in global health policy. Their motto is "Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues."

KFF published an issue brief in May of 2018, entitled Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity, that is available for review at: https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/beyond-health-care-the-role-of-social-determinants-in-promoting-health-and-health-equity/

Artiga, S., & Hinton, E. (2018, May). Beyond health care: The role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity. KFF Issue Brief. Retrieved December 28, 2021, from https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/beyond-health-care-the-role-of-social-determinants-in-promoting-health-and-health-equity/

Last updated: 12/29/2021

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