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

National Summit Early Bird Registration Opening Next Monday – April 4th!  Take advantage of Early Bird Registration for this year's National Summit and save 15% by registering when registration launches next Monday, April 4th! Check here next week for the link to register and check our website for continued updates on this year's event.    TRCC Welcomes Sponsors for 2022 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health We welcome new sponsors in Minneapolis, Minnesota for TRCC’s 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

Newly Published Study Shows Link Between Socioeconomic Deprivation and Premature Cardiovascular Mortality New research from University Hospitals (UH) found that people living in socially deprived areas of the United States are more likely to die prematurely from cardiovascular (CV) complications. The research is a part of UH’s larger efforts to address health inequities and the root causes of disease by better understanding the broad range of social determinants that impact health outcomes.  


Hospital Populations Do Not Reflect Communities, Imperil Health Equity A new report from the Lown Institute revealed that 15 U.S. cities have racially segregated hospital markets, with at least half of hospitals underserving communities of color. This is the third year the Institute has released data examining the racial inclusivity of America’s hospitals. Click here to view the full rankings; scores are determined by how well the demographics of a hospital’s Medicare patients match the demographics of the hospital’s surrounding communities.


NLIHC Releases 2022 Advocates' Guide Last week, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released their annual guide for advocates and others involved in affordable housing and community development issues. This comprehensive guide features a wide range of information on federal affordable housing programs and policies, including summaries of housing and community development programs, advocacy tools and other resources. To see the full guide, click here.


Electronic Health Records as Biased Tools or Tools Against Bias: A Conceptual Model This article explores how the design and use of electronic health records (EHRs) can either perpetuate or challenge racial and ethnic disparities in care. The article uses a conceptual model to review how EHRs are vulnerable to bias through structure (the platform itself), process (how a provider uses the EHRs) and outcomes. The authors urge for further development of measures that assess bias as well as policies that incentivize vendors and health systems to prioritize equity as a core EHR goal.


SDOH Advocacy Update

S.3824 - Into the Light for MMH and SUD Act of 2022 This bill was introduced by Senator Kristen Gillibrand to address the maternal health crisis in the U.S. It would provide funding to scale up existing screening and treatment programs, particularly in areas with significant health, economic, racial or ethnic disparities in maternal health and substance use disorder outcomes. Funding would also be provided to expand training and education for health care providers on trauma-informed care, biases and culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Finally, the bill would codify the Maternal Mental Health Hotline, a national 24/7 voice and text program that is staffed by licensed health care professionals who assist pregnant or postpartum women and family members affected by maternal mental health and substance use disorders. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.


H.R.7019 - Rural Prosperity Act of 2022 This bill, introduced by Representative Angie Craig [D-MN], would establish an Office of Rural Prosperity to address the unique structural challenges experienced by rural communities, including housing, education, healthcare, small business development and job creation. This new Office would be led by a Chief Rural Advisor and Rural Prosperity Council, tasked with making recommendations to the President on coordinating, streamlining and leveraging Federal investments in rural areas to improve economic opportunities and overall quality of life. The Department of Agriculture would also be required to work with this new office, developing a rural prosperity action plan that improves the social, economic and community well-being of rural areas in the U.S. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit.   


S.3774 - Women and Climate Change Act of 2022 This bill was introduced by Senator Maisie Hirono [D-HI] to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on women, girls and other vulnerable communities. The bill establishes the Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate Change within the Department of State and would be made up of representatives from various Federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. This working group would identify and share best practices and policy guidance on the mitigation of disparities in healthcare access, food security and other effects of climate change on women and vulnerable communities. The group would also be responsible for developing a national strategy to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change, focusing on improved public health outcomes, gender equity and racial biases. The bill was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. 


Chairman Neal Issues Request for Information on Health Care Industry’s Impact on the Climate Crisis Last week, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal [D-MA] issued a Request for Information (RFI); this RFI solicits input from 12 health care organizations regarding their work to combat the climate crisis. Input is focused on climate-related disruptions to operations and patient care, including ways these organizations integrate climate-related policies into daily operations. This RFI builds on previous efforts by the Committee to explore the health care industry’s impact on the climate crisis while ensuring a robust, coordinated approach to addressing these issues.


The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

CareSource Hosts Community Vaccination Clinics with the Indiana Immunization Coalition CareSource has recently partnered with the Indiana Immunization Coalition to host a series of Community Immunization Clinics across the Indianapolis area. The Immunization Coalition aims to reduce the spread of preventable diseases through immunization education, advocacy, promotion and statewide collaborative partnerships. To find more information and additional vaccine clinics, click here.

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