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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRCC News and Upcoming Events
There is Still Time to Register for the National Summit! Don’t miss out! Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. PT on September 30th! Click here to register for TRCC’s 6th National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, held virtually October 4-6, 2021. 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, it's not too late! Please contact Madison Flores at email@example.com. Apply for a National Summit Student Scholarship Today! Applications are open for this year’s Vision for Health Equity Scholarship. This scholarship covers the full registration costs of the Virtual National Summit. Medical residents, graduate or undergraduate students pursuing a degree, coursework or career in a field related to health equity or social determinants of health are encouraged to apply. To learn more and complete your application, click here. Registration is Now Open for TRCC’s Next Webinar TRCC is hosting “Towards the North Star of Health Equity: Lessons Learned from Healthcare-CBO Partnerships,” a webinar on Tuesday, September 21st at 3 pm ET. This session will focus on SDoH partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) and healthcare organizations (HCOs). Speakers from the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition and Mathematica will share lessons learned, including how each entered into sustainable contracts with their healthcare partners. Click here to register.
Social Determinants in the News
How Do Healthcare Workers Face Social Determinants of Health? This article highlights recent data showing the relationship between healthcare workers and food insecurity. Strenuous work hours as a result of COVID-19 contribute to the alarming nutrition insecurity rate – nearly seven percent - among healthcare workers. Raising wages and providing transportation assistance and childcare are a few ways researchers suggest combating nutrition insecurity among healthcare workers.
A New Effort to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care Through Quality Measurement This article examines how organizations have utilized equity-focused quality measurements in their attempts to combat health disparities. Quality measurements allow healthcare organizations to gather self-reported ethnicity and race data from patients and to cultivate unique initiatives that promote health equity in diverse populations.
FRAC Report Reveals How COVID-19 Exacerbated Disparities in America A recently released report from the Food Research & Action Center provides a comprehensive data analysis on COVID-19 and how inequalities in the US, specifically nutrition insecurity, have only worsened since the beginning of the pandemic. Researchers found a correlation between racial disparities in hunger and COVID-19 deaths. Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) are essential and require sustained funding to continue the fight against nutrition insecurity.
Federal Food Policy Needs More Focus on Most Vulnerable, Task Force Says The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Food and Nutrition Security Task Force released its first report with nine federal nutrition insecurity policy recommendations. Recommendations include the expansion of funding for nutrition programs that support access to fruits and vegetables and furthering investment in technology infrastructure. Like many other organizations, this group has also called for a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health in 2022.
Will the U.S. Finally Take a Holistic Approach to Ending Child Hunger? This article explores the changes in funding and language around childhood nutrition insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides an overview of recent attempts to reduce childhood hunger through legislation, executive orders and regulatory changes and urges a broader, more intersectional approach that better understands how systemic inequalities ultimately lead to increased hunger.
SDOH Advocacy Update
Markup Begins on Build Back Better Act During the week of Sept. 7th, committees of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives began to mark-up their sections of the Build Back Better Act, a human infrastructure package that includes parts of President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. This $3.5 trillion package is being developed and considered per reconciliation instructions in the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution adopted at the end of August 2021. The package includes a wide range of significant investments related to SDoH. Below are highlights from the final markups of the Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees which will now go to the House Committee on Budget before heading to the full House.
Ways and Means Committee Markup Committee Chairman Richard Neal [D-MA] presided over four days of Ways and Means’ consideration of the Build Back Better Act, which was advanced by the Committee on September 15th. The legislation would extend the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and make permanent the expansions of the earned income and child and dependent care tax credits in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). It would also lower prescription costs, close the Medicaid coverage gap and make permanent the enhanced premium tax credits in the ARP. Up to 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers was also approved along with the reauthorization of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program. Additionally, it would provide investments to ensure childcare access and equity, and would expand Medicare coverage to include dental, vision and hearing benefits. To see a section-by-section breakdown of this markup, click here for subtitles A-E and here for sections F-J.
Energy and Commerce Committee Markup Committee Chairman Frank Pallone [D-NJ] presided over three days of the Energy and Commerce consideration of the Build Back Better Act, which was advanced by the Committee on September 15th. The legislation would fund grants and programs addressing the health effects of pollution and climate crises on low-income and disadvantaged communities. It would also close the Medicaid coverage gap and expand access to health care by strengthening the Affordable Care Act. While the drug pricing measures were not approved by the Committee, the Committee did advance the expansion of Medicare to cover hearing, vision and dental benefits. Additionally, many provisions from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act were adopted and address maternal mortality, racial and ethnic maternal health disparities as well as maternal health and birth equity. To read more about the maternal health investments, click here and to see the full markup, click here.
The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight
Clark-Fulton Residents Get Digital Support through MetroHealth Partnership MetroHealth has partnered with Dollar Bank, Digital C and MCPc to bring digital resources to low and moderate-income households. Nearly forty residents of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood received free laptops and digital literacy support. As noted in the article, additional laptops are scheduled to be distributed soon through MetroHealth's Digital Literacy Initiative.