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
Advocacy Spotlight Released TRCC’s new advocacy Q&A series showcases Members of Congress and their work to advance health equity. This spotlight highlights Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), a champion of issues related to social determinants of health. To read the Q&A with Rep. Underwood, please click here. Applications for Health Justice Award Now Open TRCC announced the Health Justice Award at this year’s National Summit. The award recognizes and honors organizations that have successfully implemented a program or intervention to reduce health disparities within the past three years. The winner of the Award will receive $25,000 and will be formally recognized at TRCC’s Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health in 2022. To learn more and apply, please click here. Voices from the Field Video Series Debut TRCC showcased its new Voices from the Field video series at the 2021 National Summit. This five-video series, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shares the stories of those on whose behalf TRCC members work each day. Community Servings, God’s Love We Deliver, Loma Linda University Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and ProMedica participated in this video series, available here. New Consumer Insights Research Released TRCC’s consumer insights research continues to grow and highlight unique data points that can advance our collective advocacy efforts as well as general awareness and knowledge of these issues among the public. This month’s public insights research explores how individuals engage with technology to meet their basic needs. To access this month’s key findings and full report, please click here. Virtual Summit Evaluation Survey Now Open Please click here to complete a short survey about your thoughts on TRCC’s 2021 National Summit and any ideas you have as we plan for next year’s event.
Social Determinants in the News
“Which” and “How”: Tools for Population Health Integrators Nemours Children’s Health has examined how hospitals and health systems can, in collaboration with other community-based organizations, serve as mechanisms to integrate and achieve population-level health goals. As part of this work, just released toolkits are designed to support networks in the strategic assessment, alignment, action planning, and implementation of integrative activities that improve health outcomes and ensure that organizational decision-making occurs through the lens of health equity. Using EHR Integrations to Understand SDoH A Massachusetts hospital has partnered with an electronic health record software to develop an SDoH dashboard to better analyze potential patient health outcomes. The hospital formed this partnership after examining the correlation between COVID-19 mortality rates and ethnicity and plans to continue to grow their SDoH dashboard. Physician Intervention Could Improve Housing Issues New research explores the impact of a physician letter on landlords’ motivation to make housing improvements. Results showed that landlords who received the letter led to landlord action and improved housing conditions. Researchers encourage the integration of this letter into electronic health record systems to allow for quicker and more cost-effective interventions into patients’ housing issues. 2021 Speak Up for Better Health Award The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst is accepting nominees for its Speak Up for Better Health award. This award honors those whose work supports health equity across demographics. Nominations will be accepted until this Friday, October 29, 2021. To nominate a health equity advocate, please click here. The Economic State of American Women and Their Families TRCC Executive Director Barbara Petee participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by ENGAGE, a bipartisan women’s organization that promotes economic security for all American women. This roundtable, "The Fault Lines in our Healthcare System: Improving Health Equity through Access and Affordability," focused on the racial and rural/urban disparities in healthcare, the impacts of the Affordable Care Act, the gaps that remain and the legislative road ahead. To learn more about ENGAGE, and the organization’s work, click on the headline above.
SDOH Advocacy Update
Ways and Means Releases New Report on Misuse of Race in Clinical Algorithms The House Committee on Ways and Means recently released a report examining the misuse of race in clinical algorithms and how clinical decision support tools (CDSTs) can result in patient outcome disparities. The report includes a background on the evolution and history of CDSTs and explores potential strategies to address these inequities. It also includes an analysis of stakeholder responses to a 2020 Request for Information (RFI) issued by Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) that solicited input and recommendations on this subject. This report builds on the Committee’s ongoing work to address racial health equity, including their release of additional reports and a legislative framework as well as the Racial Equity Initiative (REI).
H.R. 4026, Social Determinants of Health Data Analysis Act of 2021 This bill, introduced by Representative Michael Burgess [R-TX], would commission a report on actions taken by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address social determinants. The report would include recommendations to foster private-public partnerships and leverage private sector efforts to address SDoH. It would also include an analysis of privacy measures as part of SDoH data collection. The bill was reported by voice vote and received a Congressional Budget Office score last week.
S.2776 - Keeping Renters Safe Act Introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren [D-MA], this bill would grant the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) permanent authority to implement a residential eviction moratorium. This eviction moratorium would be automatic and is in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium would remain in effect for at least 60 days following the conclusion of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
H.2434 - Environmental Justice Act of 2021 This bill was introduced by Representative Raul Ruiz [D-CA] to address and eliminate the disproportionate environmental and human health impacts on communities of color, indigenous and low-income communities. Among a wide range of measures, the bill would establish a Working Group on Environmental Justice that provides guidance to federal agencies when identifying disproportionately high adverse health and environmental effects based on race, color, national origin, or income. The bill would also require federal agencies to implement and regularly update a strategy that addresses negative environmental and health impacts on communities of color and indigenous and low-income communities. It was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight
Intermountain, Presbyterian and SSM Health Tackle Digital Transformation Presbyterian Healthcare, together with other health systems, have come together to establish Graphite Health, a nonprofit company aimed at facilitating the rapid adoption of digital health solutions designed to lower costs and improve health outcomes. Graphite Health will create an “App-Store-like marketplace where digital health entrepreneurs can sell their software tools, and health care organizations and consumers can more easily buy and implement them.”