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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 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:

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

Vision for Health Equity National Summit Student Scholarships Are Now Open!

TRCC is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Vision for Health Equity Scholarship that covers the full registration costs of this year’s Virtual National Summit. Medical residents, graduate or undergraduate students pursuing a degree, coursework or career in a field related to health equity or the social determinants of health are encouraged to apply and join us for this year's event. To learn more and complete your application, please click here.

Social Determinants in the News

Accelerating Health Equity Conference: Call for Content

The American Hospital Association’s Accelerating Health Equity Conference is now accepting poster and breakout session submissions. The conference focuses on improving population health and advancing health equity, diversity and inclusion. Submissions are due by Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 11:59PM central time.

A Feasible Infrastructure to Meet the Country’s Current and Future Health Crisis

The authors of this article discuss the potential benefits of The Health Care Cooperative Extension and its ability to address SDoH. This health care model would assist with COVID-19 vaccination and tracking efforts, break down silos between state medical and mental health organizations and connect clinicians with other community-based efforts to provide equitable health care.

Farm to School Programs Are Finally Making Inroads on Capitol Hill

This article discusses how the farm to school movement (F2S) is expanding their efforts to reach more children and local farms across the nation. The National Farm to School Network and Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems issued a comprehensive State Farm to School Policy Handbook that outlines these efforts. F2S is also focused on expanding its research efforts to support policies that address SDoH and food insecurity.

Meet the Black Women Driving New Ag Policy

This article follows the efforts of Georgia State Senator Kim Jackson, Ohio State Representative Juanita Brent and Illinois State Representative Sonya Harper as they work to create equitable agricultural policies. The lack of funding and support for farmers of color continue to drive racial disparities in farm ownership and access to healthy foods. The author outlines the programs and efforts being taken by these representatives to increase awareness and restore Black farming communities.

Mental Health Assistance Hard to Find in Rural America

This article highlights the barriers that prevent rural Missouri communities from seeking and accessing mental health care. Stigma surrounding mental health treatment along with lack of access and transportation have led to only 6% of mental health needs being met in the state. The authors discuss ways to improve access to mental health care as well as the conversation around seeking treatment.

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.

USDA Updates SNAP Benefits to Increase Food Aid

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a cost adjustment to the Thrifty Food Plan that is used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. As a result of this update, the first in the program’s history, average SNAP benefits will rise to more than 25% above pre-pandemic levels on a permanent basis. This means an additional $36 per person, per month, for the Fiscal Year 2022. This will take effect on October 1st, 2021 and will help support the 42 million food-insecure Americans who utilize the program.

H.R.3289 - Transportation Equity Act

Introduced by Representative Frederica Wilson [D-FL], this bill would ensure reliable and equitable access to transportation by establishing a Transportation Equity Committee within the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). This Committee would provide recommendations and develop a strategic plan that includes research, technology, community engagement and economic policy activities related to transportation equity. The Committee would be made up of a variety of stakeholders including those in rural, underserved and marginalized communities along with others who have expertise in related areas such as housing, health care and the environment. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Aviation.

S.2315 - Medicaid Saves Lives Act

This bill was introduced by Senator Raphael Warnock [D-GA] to provide health care access to the millions of Americans living in the 12 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. The bill would establish a federal Medicaid look-alike program to provide a direct coverage option to adults in non-expansion states with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The program would be run and administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and would provide the same full benefits of Medicaid. The bill would also increase the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) in non-expansion states. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R.4223 - DEMO Act

This bill was introduced by Representative Danny Davis [D-IL] to address both employment barriers and labor shortages in healthcare. The bill would establish health-related demonstration projects that provide education and training for eligible individuals with arrest or conviction records. Applicants may include states, tribal organizations, institutions of higher education, nonprofits and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Experience working with low-income populations is required and they must also provide post-employment support and ongoing training. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

Desert Healthcare District & Foundation Supports Weekly Mobile Health Unit

Desert Healthcare District and partners will offer grant funding for a mobile unit that provides weekly medical exams and visits to the Desert Highland Gateway Estates and north Palm Springs areas. The unit will visit historically Black and underserved neighborhoods that provides services including family medicine, women’s health, immunizations and HIV/STI testing.


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