The Root Cause Coalition Weekly Bulletin

This weekly bulletin is provided by The Root Cause Coalition to provide news and information on the social determinants of health, as well as a snapshot of the Coalition’s activities.


The Root Cause Coalition provides this weekly update to draw attention to our members’ social determinants of health (SDoH) activities, SDoH in the news and the ever-growing challenges faced by our most vulnerable communities. We encourage you to share SDoH-focused research, events and other resources with us so that we can promote it through our TRCC network. Our aim is to foster an exchange of information that is helpful to others so that those most in need - on whose behalf we work each day - can continue to receive information, access and services to improve health and quality of life. If you have information to share, please email us: contact@rootcausecoalition.org.

TRCC News and Upcoming Events

TIME is RUNNING OUT! Register Now for the National Summit and be a Part of the Conversation! Register today for TRCC’s 6th National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, held virtually October 4-6, 2021. Click here to register and continue to watch this space for updates and highlights about speakers and sessions! With a focus on how the events of the last year-and-a-half have underscored the urgency to address social determinants to achieve health equity, the agenda for this year’s National Summit will bring together leaders in healthcare, community and faith-based organizations, researchers, government leaders, educators and businesses to share best practices, offer community connections and resources and engage in the crucial discussion of how to best address the social determinants of health, including a focus on systemic racism. Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, AARP Foundation and ProMedica. And thank you to Robert Wood Johnson for sponsoring TRCC’s “Voices from the Field” initiative, a forthcoming series of video footage focused on individual voices of those affected by social determinants of health. If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities at this year’s National Summit, please contact Madison Flores at mflores@rootcausecoalition.org.


The Root Cause Coalition Releases New Health Equity Research ​Public insights research recently released by The Root Cause Coalition shows broad support for U.S. nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Click here to learn more and access the full Nutrition Insecurity, Hunger and America’s Policy Priorities research report.

Social Determinants in the News

A New Indigenous-led Student Movement Is Protecting Sacred Waters

Students of the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Humboldt County, California, have come together to create the Hoopa Valley High School Water Protectors Club. The club has encouraged policymakers to address the water crisis that disproportionately affects their tribe. Students have also helped create a high school curriculum focused on advocacy and water protection.

How Overcoming Language Barriers Improves Primary Care Access

A new study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine studied the importance of connecting patients with a provider who speaks their same language. Patients with limited English proficiency are more likely to experience limited patient-provider communication and care disparities. The report calls on medical professionals and clinicians to hire multilingual providers who can help build cultural competency and trust within offices.

Policy Options for Integrating Health and Housing for Low-Income Older Adults

A recent report examined the barriers between affordable housing and health care entities while exploring opportunities for better serving low-income older adults. The authors share a strategy based on the research results; they found five key building blocks to success when providing housing and health care for individuals disproportionately impacted by SDoH.

Anti-Black Violence Is Associated with Poor Mental Health for Black Americans

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities recently published a report examining the impact of anti-Black violence on the mental health of Black Americans. Researchers found that Black respondents reported a significantly higher average of more poor mental health days during weeks with two high publicity incidents of racial violence compared with weeks with no incidents. Black respondents also reported a significantly higher average of more poor mental health days when there was high national interest in racial incidents.

National Birth Equity Collaborative

An article posted by the National Birth Equity Collaborative highlights the maternal health and racial inequities that exist for Black birthing people. Classism, gender oppression, racism and other SDoH factors negatively impact maternal and children’s mental health and disproportionately affect Black and Latinx communities. The authors call on Congress to pass the Momnibus Act and expand postpartum care to address maternal mental health.

SDoH Advocacy Update

Current updates on state and federal SDoH Advocacy. For further details about the bills listed here, and contact information for sponsors and cosponsors, please click the links in the headlines below.


S.2307 - COVID–19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act of 2021

Introduced by Senator Kristen Gillibrand, this bill would establish and support programs within academic medical centers to conduct COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness research. Research would focus on health care disparities and best practices for promoting health equity as well as relevant education and training to health professionals, scientists and communities. To be eligible for funding, academic medical centers would need to address health inequities and collaborate across sectors to ensure equitable care. The bill would also establish an advisory committee to facilitate collaboration and the sharing of best practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigation of future pandemics. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R.4495 – Down Payment Toward Equity Act of 2021

Introduced by Representative Maxine Waters [D-CA], this bill seeks to close the racial homeownership gap in the US by addressing down payment requirements. The bill would establish a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program to provide financial assistance for down payments, interest and closing costs for qualified first-generation, socially and economically disadvantaged homebuyers. It would also provide funding for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies that help homebuyers complete the home purchase counseling program requirement to qualify for assistance. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

S.2667 - Making Essentials Available and Lawful Act of 2021

This bill was introduced by Senator Cory Booker [D-NJ] to address food insecurity and better meet the basic needs of formerly incarcerated individuals. The bill would repeal the current lifetime ban and allow formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of felony drug offenses to access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or assistance under programs funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants. It was referred to the Committee on Finance.

H.R.3337 - Birth Access Benefiting Improved Essential Facility Services Act

This bill was introduced by Representative Katherine Clark [D-MA] to increase access to quality, affordable maternity care. This bill would require that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) establish a Medicaid demonstration program to improve quality and access to freestanding birth center services for women with low-risk pregnancies. CMS would also award state-level planning grants to develop proposals and provide guidance when establishing prospective payment systems under Medicaid. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

The Children’s Foundation Supports Kids on the Go Wellness Programs

The Children’s Foundation awarded Kids on the Go a grant that supports and expands assistance to parents of children with special needs. Kids On The Go offers services and classes to children with special needs that allow children to maintain skills and social progress during the summer months. Programs offered through Kids On The Go are free and promote opportunities for socializing and developing skills needed for independent living.

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The Root Cause Coalition Weekly Bulletin

This weekly bulletin is provided by The Root Cause Coalition to provide news and information on the social determinants of health, as well as a snapshot of the Coalition’s activities. The Root Cause C