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
The National Summit Begins Today! TRCC’s 6th National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health begins today and runs through Wednesday, October 6th. This year’s virtual gathering focuses on the renewed urgency to address social determinants and health equity. It brings 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. We want to thank everyone who has registered to join in on the event as well as 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. TRCC Webinar Now Available Online TRCC recently hosted the webinar “Towards the North Star of Health Equity: Lessons Learned from Healthcare-CBO Partnerships.” We truly appreciate our wonderful and thoughtful speakers, Deidre Flynn from the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Alaya Martin and Dana Jean-Baptiste from Mathematica and Anthony Haro from the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. If you missed the live event, please click here to watch a recording.
Social Determinants in the News
New Campaign to Improve Diversity in Lupus Clinical Trials The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health recently launched a new campaign that seeks to raise awareness and address concerns about lupus, an autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority populations. This initiative will work to increase diversity in clinical trial participation to ensure future medical products are safe and effective for all individuals living with lupus. Can Online Provider Reviews Flag Racism in Medicine? The authors studied publicly available consumer reviews of US hospitals to better understand patients’ experience with racism in healthcare settings. Gathering qualitative measures has historically been challenging in research and the authors propose that analyzing consumer reviews could be useful in filling this information gap while also calling for further research on this subject. The Impact of COVID-19 in Latinos: What can we do to move forward? This article explores Latinx sentiments towards COVID-19 and what can be done to address vaccine hesitancy among a population that has been hard hit by the pandemic. The author suggests that individuals who connect to Hispanic communities become a trusted source for individuals looking to learn more about COVID-19 and the vaccine. 2021 Progress Report Released Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association, released their most recent progress report sharing successful local and state campaigns across the country. The report highlights campaigns that have advanced racial equity through improved access to a nutritious diet while also creating healthy and equitable schools and early care and education environments. Virtual National Food Policy Conference The Consumer Federation of America will be hosting their 44th Annual Virtual National Food Policy Conference tomorrow and Wednesday, October 5-6, 2021. This conference will host facilitated discussions on various food policy-related issues and topics. To learn more and to register, please click here.
SDOH Advocacy Update
Changes Implemented in Child Nutrition Waivers and SNAP Benefits The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a new set of child nutrition waivers that builds on waivers issued in April for the 2021-2022 school year. These waivers allow schools continued flexibility to maintain children’s access to nutritious meals during unanticipated school closures and supply chain challenges. Additionally, the increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, originally announced in August by the USDA, went into permanent effect on Friday, October 1st, 2021. This change is a result of an update to the Thrifty Food Plan that is used to calculate benefits and means an additional $36 per person, per month, on average for FY2022.
H.R.5370 - Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act of 2021 This bill, introduced by Representative Jim McGovern [D-MA], would establish a three-year Medicare pilot program to assess the effects of a covered hospital providing medically tailored home-delivered meals to qualified individuals. Covered hospitals would provide at least two home-delivered meals per day to qualified individuals, as well as any dependents under the age of 18 who reside in their household for at least 12 weeks. This program acknowledges the critical link between diet, chronic illness and senior health and would help provide nutritious meals to medically vulnerable seniors. The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, in addition to the Committee on Rules.
S.2779 - TRIUMPH for New Moms Act of 2021 This bill was introduced by Senator Maggie Hassan [D-NH] to address the maternal health crisis in the United States. It would establish a Task Force on Maternal Mental Health charged with sharing best practices and developing a national strategy that addresses social determinants of health and reduces racial, ethnic, geographic, and other health disparities in maternal mental health care. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
H.R.5125 - Strengthening Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Act Representative Adrian Smith [R-NE] introduced this legislation which seeks to further clarify parameters for testing and expanding new payment and service models for Medicare and Medicaid. The bill would establish a public notice process and would provide an opportunity for public comments on the implementation and expansion of new models. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means and Rules.
The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight
UPMC Partners with Meal Delivery Service, Improves Health Outcomes The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan has partnered with a meal delivery service to improve patient outcomes, decrease healthcare costs and reduce emergency department visits for Medicaid beneficiaries. The meal delivery service provides support for individuals receiving long-term care, post-discharge care and chronic care. Nearly three-quarters of participants remained enrolled for the entirety of thirteen week program.