The Root Cause Coalition Weekly Bulletin

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: contact@rootcausecoalition.org.


TRCC News and Upcoming Events

One Week Left to Submit your RFP for TRCC’s National Summit!

Submit your proposal before March 14th for a chance to present at the 2022 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health. With this year's theme, Achieving Health Equity: What Are You Prepared to Do? proposals should be thought provoking, challenging and innovative. Reach out to mflores@rootcausecoalition.org with any questions.


National Summit Early Bird Registration Opening Soon!

Take advantage of early bird registration for this year's National Summit and save 15 percent by registering any time starting Monday April 4th through June 6th. Continue to check this newsletter for the registration site link and check our website for updates on this year's event.


TRCC Welcomes Sponsors for 2022 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health

We welcome new sponsors to join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota 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 mflores@rootcausecoalition.org for more information.


Social Determinants in the News

A case study on SDoH impacts pediatric surgical care A new study used appendicitis as a case study to determine how neighborhood-level social determinants are associated with access to pediatric surgical care. Researchers used the Childhood Opportunity Index (COI) database which examines factors that indicate a ZIP code “opportunity level”; results found that children from lower-COI neighborhoods had increased odds of presenting with complicated appendicitis due to a delay in care frequently associated with increased complication risk, length of stay, cost and readmission rate. The authors urge policymakers to use these findings to inform future policy and public health interventions that promote equitable pediatric health outcomes across communities. Engaging Community Health Workers in Evidence-Based Programs National Council on Aging recently launched a webinar series focusing on the integral role of community health workers (CHWs) when addressing SDoH. The first in the series provides a general overview of their role including how CHWs can support evidence-based programming and serve as a connection between medical and social services in their communities. The other three segments feature speakers from health systems in three different states, all of whom share how they’ve introduced CHWs into their systems to better serve diverse populations with complex SDoH needs. The final webinar will take place on March 24, 2022, 2-3 p.m. ET. If interested, register here. Oral Health for All — Realizing the Promise of Science A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, written by former National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, highlights that while oral health has improved over the last 20 years, disparities continue to persist. The authors note the importance of social and systemic factors on health and how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the same groups that historically have experienced more negative oral health outcomes. The authors recommend policies that integrate oral, medical and behavioral health care in traditional and non-traditional health care settings, such as schools and community health centers. Register for American Hospital Association's Advancing Health Equity Conference Early bird registration is open until March 31st for the 2022 Accelerating Health Equity Conference, an in-person event in Cleveland, OH. The conference is a joint effort by the AHA Community Health Improvement Network and the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity. Their shared mission is to close health equity gaps by building strategic hospital-community partnerships and developing and sustaining diversity and inclusion across the field.


SDOH Advocacy Update

H.R.6602 - Affordable Housing Resident Services Act of 2022 This bill, introduced by Representative Pete Aguilar [D-CA], would establish a five-year grant program within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides yearly funding for the expansion of residential support services within affordable housing properties. Support would include healthcare and social services assistance along with after-school programs, tutoring and college and career readiness training for children and teenage students. Funding would also cover services that expand access to mental health and addiction treatment programs, employment resources and financial literacy education. Additionally, grants would be used to assist residents with disabilities as well as older adults. The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Services along with the Committees on Education and Labor and Ways and Means.


S.3649 - Transportation Equity Act This bill, introduced by Senator Alex Padilla [D-CA], would permanently re-establish the Transportation Equity Committee to study and provide advice on interdisciplinary issues relating to transportation equity including planning, design, research, policy, and advocacy. The committee would be tasked with developing a strategic plan that ensures equal access to transportation for all residents, including those with disabilities and older adults, and includes recommendations on the effect of transportation equity on economic development, connectivity, accessibility and public engagement. Members of the committee would be made up of a broad range of populations including urban, rural and tribal areas as well as underserved and marginalized communities. Membership in the committee would also include individuals with expertise in related areas such as housing, health care, disability access, and the environment. The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.


H.R.6598 - End Child Poverty Act This bill was introduced by Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to address the high rates of child poverty in the U.S. that disproportionately affects Black, Hispanic and American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The bill would create a child benefit that covers more low-income families than the child provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the existing child tax credit (CTC). Under the bill, the child benefit would be set to $393 per child/per month and would be distributed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It would also streamline the process by implementing it on a universal basis with no income phase-ins or phase-outs. Children would be automatically enrolled at birth, and every family would receive a monthly payment for every child they are currently caring for between birth and age 18. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


S.3535 - Heating and Cooling Relief Act This bill was introduced by Senator Ed Markey [D-MA] and would expand access to heating and cooling services in low-income homes. As high energy costs are associated with a greater risk for respiratory diseases and heat strokes, the bill would increase annual funding for the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) so 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 shut off or pays late fees. Additionally, the bill would address climate adaptation by promoting renewable energy sources and would provide additional funding for weatherization and energy assistance during major disasters. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.


The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

Communities of Excellence 2026 COE Spring Conference Registration Now Open! Communities of Excellence (COE) 2026 will be hosting their COE Spring Conference in Excelsior Springs, Missouri from Thursday, April 21st - Friday, April 22nd. Register today to meet faculty, network with national learning collaborative participants and learn new skills. This conference is co-hosted by the Thrive Excelsior. To learn more about the Communities of Excellence Framework - including a set of key questions for improving the performance of communities and the people who lead and live in them – see here.

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