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
The Coalition recently announced the launch of the Equity Legislation Monitor (ELM), a tool developed by our Board, Advocacy Committee and staff to identify priority issues – and related legislation – addressing health disparities. TRCC will use the ELM to continuously provide relevant policy updates on key 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 additional information about the ELM, please contact Tom Dorney at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hannah Miller at email@example.com.
TRCC invites requests 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 towards achieving health equity. Submit your proposal here. Applicants will be notified in early spring, 2022.
TRCC welcomes additional sponsors for this year’s 7th Annual National Summit. The sponsorship prospectus has been carefully curated to provide 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.
Social Determinants in the News
Court-Issued Fines and Fees Frequently Undermine Health Equity This article highlights the Camden Coalition’s work to address the consequences individuals face when unable to pay court-issued fines. This inability to pay can lead to homelessness, job loss and negative health outcomes. Health care providers can take several steps to help address this issue, including incorporating fines and fees into care planning, supporting patients with court engagements and connecting with local organizations engaged in fines and fees reform. Housing Insecurity High Among Cancer Survivors Cancer survivors are at risk for higher housing costs, frequent moves and homelessness, with 17% of survivors reporting moderate or increased housing insecurity. This research also shows that survivors facing housing insecurity are prone to other SDoH issues including a lack of food access and affordable health care. To help combat these challenges, researchers urge screening cancer patients for housing and food insecurity while also providing referrals to social services and other community resources that can help. How North Carolina Is Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Medicaid North Carolina has announced the development of the Health Opportunities Pilots program, a comprehensive approach to address unmet nonmedical needs including transportation insecurity, food access and housing insecurity. This initiative will be funded through Medicaid and managed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). It will evaluate the impact of screenings for social risk factors, connections to social services and other pilot services that can impact health care outcomes and costs. CDC Data Shows HIV Disparities Persist in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a report revealing racial disparities in HIV transmission, with 52% of African American adults diagnosed with HIV living in areas with higher Social Vulnerability Index scores. Racism, longstanding systemic inequities, social and economic marginalization, residential segregation and lack of access to HIV prevention and treatment are all factors that perpetuate these disparities. To accelerate progress towards HIV prevention, the CDC is working with partners through the federal initiative, “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.” to scale up science-based strategies that address barriers to care.
SDOH Advocacy Update
H.R.6461 - National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act Introduced by Representative Scott Peters [D-CA], this bill would streamline the federal response to climate change by establishing a Chief Resilience Officer position in the White House. This individual would facilitate interagency coordination on climate resilience and adaptation efforts. The bill would also establish a Partners Council on Climate Adaptation and Resilience to strengthen collaboration and provide support to state, local, and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations and private sector entities working on climate change issues. This Council would be tasked with developing a National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy that focuses on efficient and equitable resilience solutions, particularly for the most vulnerable communities that often lack resources for adaptation efforts. S.3566 - Improving Trauma Systems and Emergency Care Act Introduced by Senator Jack Reed [D-RI], this bill would expand access to emergency medical services by authorizing additional funding for pilot program grants that strengthen coordination and communication among trauma systems, improve access to trauma care and facilitate clinical research. Grantees would be required to implement innovative technology, training, education and transportation to improve trauma care. Priority would be given to centers serving rural and underserved communities. The bill would also require that the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) issue guidance and best practices to improve states’ emergency medical services and trauma care during public health emergencies. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. H.R. 6373 - Digital Literacy and Equity Commission Act This bill was introduced by Brenda Lawrence [D-MI] to commission a study that would examine digital literacy along with the skills and abilities an individual has that allows one to use technology for digital information and services. This interagency commission would be required to issue recommendations around improving and maintaining digital and information literacy through early education and community outreach as well as best practices for more equitably distributing resources in low-income and underserved communities. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. S.198 - Data Mapping to Save Moms' Lives Act This bill was introduced by Senator Jacky Rosen [D-NV] to address the maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. It would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to map areas in the United States that have both broadband service gaps and high rates of poor maternal health outcomes. This information would then be used to help identify where improved access to telehealth services could be most effective. It would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and submit a report to Congress on the connection between internet connectivity and reduced maternal morbidity rates. The bill was reported favorably by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in the first week of February.
The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight
OSF Healthcare has partnered with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) to award eight grants that will support projects focused on removing barriers to care. The focus will be low-income, under-resourced communities. The efforts are the first grants awarded under the Community Health Advocacy program, a joint initiative from OSF and UIC that seeks to develop innovative solutions that address health challenges in urban communities as well as health equity broadly. Click here to see the full list of grant awards and projects.