June 2016 Newsletter

With summer in full swing, I know that most aren’t thinking about December. But at The Root Cause Coalition, December – actually December 5th & 6th to be exact – marks the date of our Inaugural Summit on the Social Determinants of Health at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. With an agenda rich with experts from myriad backgrounds to share best practices, offer community connections and resources, and engage in crucial discussions. The event will feature presentations by Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League; Rick Pollack, President and CEO, American Hospital Association; Donald Hinkle-Brown, President and CEO, Reinvestment Fund; Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation; and Randy Oostra, President and CEO, ProMedica. In addition, we’ll be joined by representatives from organizations across the country, including the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law, Feeding America, Ascension Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Loma Linda University Health, OSF HealthCare, Humana, Advocate Health, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, and UPMC Advantage, among others.

There are clear associations between social determinants and poor health status among children, adults, and seniors. Factors such as food insecurity, lack of safe and affordable housing, quality education, transportation, and isolation have a significant impact on individual health and the collective health of our nation. The cost to healthcare, businesses, and communities is in the billions. The human toll is incalculable.

The Inaugural National Summit will engage healthcare executives, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, economic development experts, community groups, and others in a discussion of social determinants and lead to the development of data-driven, community centered solutions to prevent long-term chronic health conditions in the most vulnerable populations.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to engage with colleagues on issues that affect our daily work. REGISTER TODAY by visiting our registration page for event details as well as hotel information. Registrations made by August 15, 2016, will receive the early bird rate.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Barbara J. Petee
Executive Director

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight: American Hospital Association (AHA)

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members come together to form the AHA.

AHA’s vision is of a society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health. Working toward this vision, AHA leads, represents and serves hospitals, health systems and other related organizations that are accountable to the community and committed to health improvement.

The AHA through its Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence strategic platform and the Association for Community Health Improvement works to address social determinants of health by identify best practices, develop evidence-based tools and guides and provide leadership development through fellowships and networks for hospital executives and community health professionals.

Upcoming Events

September 14, 2016 – Western Regional Summit “Diagnosis: Hunger” in partnership with The Alliance to End Hunger – Register here.

December 6, 2016 – First Annual Conference to Address the Social Determinants of Health – Register here.

Recent News and Research Highlights

A recent study published by the CDC focused on the underrepresentation of economically vulnerable populations in comprehensive diabetes registries. The authors sought to study and create their own diabetes registry from patients in safety net clinics and provide a resource for studying diabetes in underserved populations. Their research shows the prevalence of diabetes among their uninsured cohort based on age, gender and race/ethnicity and provides insight on how to generate more representative databases that can be generalizable on a national scale.

The County Health Rankings (CHR) system is a unique resource because it includes information about multiple social determinants within its research on the health of US counties. While this research is usually focused on adults, a recent study explored associations between this information on social determinants and youth health status, particularly focusing on child obesity. Results revealed that CHR’s social determinant indicators were significantly associated with higher prevalence of child obesity and provided an explanation of disparities in children’s health outcomes.

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association sought to examine trends in overall diet quality between 1999-2012 and their association with age, sex, race/ethnicity, education and income. Results of this study showed that while there have been improvements in dietary habits among white Americans, there were disparities in diet quality among black and Mexican American adults. These results reveal how issues of race and income can serve as barriers and must be addressed to achieve better dietary habits among all Americans.

In 2016, AARP Foundation commissioned a survey to gain insights into how the 50+ demographic makes eating decisions, perceives healthy diets and to understand consumption patterns related to nutritious food. This research includes a deep dive into the 50+ consumer segment and a greater understanding around factors that contribute to the nutritional quality of one’s diet and purchasing habits. The survey findings reflect the results from a sample of 1,535 individuals aged 50+, stratified by age and income.
The explosive growth of the nation’s senior population will present unprecedented challenges. To address them, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Senior Health and Housing Task Force has worked over the past year to develop an actionable policy agenda that underscores the synergies between health care and housing in fostering improved health outcomes, cost savings, and enhanced quality of life for America’s aging population. BPC released the task force’s report and hosted a discussion of the recommendations with its co-chairs – read the report here.