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: email@example.com
TRCC News and Upcoming Events
TRCC is accepting request for proposals for the 7th Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 4th-6th. With this year's theme, Achieving Health Equity: What Are You Prepared To Do? we are excited to welcome community and health care leaders from across the nation to discuss strategies and best practices in achieving health equity. Submit your proposal here. Successful applicants will be notified in early spring.
We welcome new sponsors to join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a Sponsor for the 7th Annual National Summit. This year’s prospectus has been carefully curated to provide sponsors with unique opportunities that enhance professional relationships and can help reinforce sponsors as a leader in the health equity space. Please reach out to Madison Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Coalition is excited to announce our new Equity Legislation Monitor (ELM), a tool developed by the Coalition's Board, Advocacy Committee and Staff to identify priority issues affecting health disparities, and relevant legislation that address them. TRCC will use the ELM to continuously provide relevant information on key equity and SDoH issues throughout the year. This tool will be updated with research, news and legislation, released in real-time, providing resources and information on seven priority areas: digital equity; diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; environment and climate change; housing; maternal health; nutrition and food security; and payment models. For further information about the ELM, please contact Tom Dorney at email@example.com or Hannah Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Determinants in the News
Healthy Alliance IPA Connects Patients with Social Needs to Social Services This article highlights the work of Healthy Alliance IPA, an independent practice association that serves as an intermediary between managed care organizations, healthcare providers and patients. The association works to help healthcare providers connect patients with SDoH needs to social services and has built a network of more than 500 organizations spanning more than 22 counties; services range from transportation to job training. Clarify Health launches software to expand diversity in clinical trials The healthcare and life sciences analytics company, Clarify Health, recently released software designed to improve the recruitment of clinical trial participants from underserved communities. This software utilizes more than 400 social determinants that can help expand research participant inclusion criteria. The goal is to push for more diversity in clinical trials and better represent patient populations. New Mental Health Parity Report Issued by U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury issued a new report as mandated by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The report reveals that health plans and insurance companies are falling short of providing parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits while also highlighting the departments’ recent emphasis on greater MHPAEA enforcement. The report also details ongoing efforts to reduce stigma around and increase awareness of mental health conditions and substance-use disorders. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Programs This article highlights the need to improve food and nutrition security by strengthening this country’s child nutrition programs. The Bipartisan Policy Center's Food and Nutrition Security Taskforce provides policy recommendations that will assist in improving children's health by strengthening child nutrition programs. Recommendations include expanding access to out-of-school nutrition programs and facilitating eligibility, enrollment and data sharing across programs that address food and nutrition insecurity and other SDoH.
SDOH Advocacy Update
For ongoing updates on health equity issues and legislative efforts, check out TRCC’s new Equity Legislation Monitor, a one-stop shop for the most recent and pertinent updates related to equity and SDoH issues H.R.6437 - Heating and Cooling Relief Act This bill was introduced by Representative Jamaal Bowman [D-NY] and would expand access to heating and cooling services in low-income homes and improve health outcomes, especially during extreme temperatures and weather events. As high energy costs are associated with a greater risk for respiratory diseases and heat strokes, the bill would increase annual funding for Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to expand eligibility and ensure that no household pays more than three percent of its annual income on energy costs. The bill would also minimize the barriers to administering and applying LIHEAP, set up discounted payment plans for participants and ensure that no eligible household has its utilities shutoff or pays late fees. Additionally, the bill would address climate adaptation by promoting renewable energy sources and providing additional funding for weatherization and energy assistance during major disasters. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Education and Labor. S.3479 - Building a Sustainable Workforce for Healthy Communities Act The bill, introduced by Senator Robert Casey [D-PA], would improve health outcomes and expand workforce capacity by reauthorizing a grant program for state and local governments, Indian tribes or tribal organizations and community-based organizations to develop or expand community health worker (CHW) programs. Grants could be used to recruit and train CHWs that reflect the needs of the community as well as support outreach to underserved communities, particularly racial and ethnic minority populations. CHWs would also address SDoH and eliminate health disparities by conducting community needs assessments that include access to healthcare, mental health, childcare, housing, education and nutrition services. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. H.R.2543 - Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act This bill was introduced by Representative Maxine Waters [D-CA] to address the racial wealth gap and requires that the Federal Reserve carry out its duties in a manner that supports the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit. The Board of the Federal Reserve would also be required to report on disparities in labor force trends as well as on plans and activities of the Board to minimize and eliminate these disparities. The bill passed the Committee on Financial Services and was placed on the Union Calendar in January 2021. S.3502 - Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in Disaster Response, Recovery, and Resilience Act of 2022 This bill, as introduced by Senator Gary Peters [D-MI], would establish the Office of Equal Rights and Community Inclusion at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This office would work to improve the access and quality of disaster assistance in underserved communities and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in disaster assistance delivery. It would also be responsible for coordinating with other branches of FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate allegations of racial and ethnic disparities within disaster response efforts. The bill passed out of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last week.
The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight
TRCC Welcomes PAN Foundation to the Coalition We are so pleased to welcome PAN Foundation to The Root Cause Coalition as our newest Member. The PAN Foundation partners with physicians and advanced care providers, and pharmacies to assist underinsured individuals living with chronic and/or rare illnesses with access to healthcare treatments and medications. Over the past 15 years, the Pan Foundation has been able to assist more than one million underinsured patients.