April 2016 Newsletter

In keeping with the Root Cause Coalition’s mission to address social determinants of health through research, education and advocacy, I am pleased to annouce that we are planning a National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health in Chicago, Illinois, December 5 and 6, 2016. We’ve heard from our members and industry colleagues that they would like time to learn more about the ways in which their organizations can deepen their commitment to improving the lives of those they serve be implementing programs to address the social determinants of health. To that end, the conference is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the social determinants of health and health care utilization patterns. We will identify specific roles and contributions of hospital and health system leaders – including those in a governance role – in building understanding and support for these issues in partnership with local stakeholders. The conference will also provide the opportunity to meet with one another, learn about successful programs and also to challenge and motivate each of us to continue our work on these complicated issues facing our communities.

We are developing an agenda that I am confident you will find both informative and inspiring. We will be tackling issues such as isolation, hunger, economic development, housing, and more. Experts in each of these fields including Lisa Marsh Ryerson, AARP Foundation, Randy Oostra, ProMedica; Anne Haddix, CDC Foundation, Rick Pollack, American Hospital Association and others are committed to our agenda and you’ll have the opportunity to also participate in roundtable discussions, brainstorming sessions, and networking to make the most of your time with us.

Please mark your calendars to join us in Chicago, December 5 and 6 and watch for a link to our online registration in June.

Warm regards,
Barbara J. Petee
Executive Director
View Upcoming Events

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight: Loma Linda University Health 

Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) is an academic health sciences center dedicated to providing excellent, evidence-based health care, educating health care professionals, and conducting pathfinding research.  Established in 1905, the University has eight schools encompassing over one hundred programs in health and human sciences, and is a global leader in health promotion and disease prevention for whole communities.  LLUH also operates six hospitals, including a children’s hospital and a behavioral medicine center.  With over nine hundred faculty physicians, LLUH provides care to more than 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients annually.  As one of five faith-based Adventist health systems in the United States, LLUH has embraced the mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”  At the core of this mission is the conviction that all persons in need, regardless of their social or economic status, are deserving of effective health care, including access to healthful nutrition.

The Root Cause Coalition, Alliance to End Hunger and USDA Lead Hunger Summit in NYC:

Our April 4th Hunger Summit in New York City was a great success! Nearly 150 individuals representing healthcare organizations, faith-based groups, the education community, and government institutes met in New York City on April 4 to discuss hunger as a health issue. Keynote speakers Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2); Administrator Audrey Rowe, USDA; and Ken Anderson, DO, MS, CPE, American Hospital Association; Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of AARP Foundation, and Randy Oostra, President and CEO, ProMedica, joined others to share best practices, connect with other leaders and advocate for food insecure individuals and families in the region and across the nation.

If you were unable to attend, click here to view the day’s agenda and see presentations from the speakers.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date on the work of the Coalition!

Research Highlights:

A study recently published by the CDC examined the role of health care systems in improving clinical and social outcomes for the homeless. They discovered that the most effective clinical care programs utilized outreach and community agencies and integrated social supports and social services to provide comprehensive care to this high risk group. The study illustrates the importance of integrating social determinants of health into the care of homeless veterans and other vulnerable populations.

A recent study examined food insecurity in patients with high rates of inpatient hospitalizations, also known as “super utilizers”. Results of this study showed that of these hospital super utilizers 30% were food insecure. Additionally, a vast majority of super utilizers reported they needed the assistance of others to buy and prepare their food, a dependence that exacerbates the risk of food insecurity and enhances the importance of social support systems.

A recent report by the Johns Hopkins Center for A Livable Future argues that health care systems should support community resources to promote disease prevention and improve public health. The authors recommend using the Affordable Care Act as a framework to improve public health, reduce health care costs, and positively change the existing food systems. The report also emphasizes the need to assess community environments and address barriers to food system changes.

The Root Cause Coalition newsletter is published monthly to provide updates on our work in addressing the social determinants of health, with specific emphasis on hunger as a public health issue, and our work in improving the health status of individuals and communities. If you would like more information, please be sure to visit or website at www.rootcausecoalition.org or contact us at [email protected] or [email protected].