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

NOW OPEN! Early Bird Registration for The National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health  Save 15% on registration before June 6th! You are invited to join us from October 2-4, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to hear from leading health equity experts – speakers will share best practices, collective lessons learned, innovative ways to lead and design programs and policy. Spend time networking with colleagues and others that share TRCC’s common mission to address social determinants and work towards achieving health equity. Register today and learn more about how we are collectively #AchievingHealthEquity!  TRCC Welcomes Sponsors for 2022 National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health We welcome new sponsors to join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a Sponsor for the 7th Annual National Summit. This year’s prospectus offers a variety of 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.  


TRCC Research Release April Webinar Featuring Acenda Integrated Health Join TRCC and Acenda Integrated Health at 11 a.m. EST on April 26th as we discuss the results of our most recent public insights survey focused on public perceptions of - and experiences with - gun violence and neighborhood safety. TRCC will share the survey results and Melissa Fox, Chief Operating Officer of Acenda, will share updates about related initiatives. Register here today!


Social Determinants in the News

This U.S. Is Facing a Maternal Health Crisis. Climate Change Is Making It Worse This article focuses on how climate-related factors influence the maternal mortality rate, particularly within minority communities. Research has shown that exposure to extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis, such as flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat, are linked to preterm births, low birth weight and other negative pregnancy-related health outcomes. The author highlights the lack of federal and state guidance related to the intersection of pregnancy and climate emergencies, urging policymakers to account for pregnant people when developing long-term climate plans.


Examining How the Social Drivers of Health Affect the Nation’s Physicians and their Patients A new survey examines the current impact of SDoH on physician practices, physician and patient well-being as well as possible solutions needed to address SDoH. The survey showed that nearly all physicians indicated their patients' health outcomes are affected by at least one SDoH, with financial instability and transportation listed as the top two. Results also showed 6 in 10 physicians feel they currently have little to no time and ability to effectively address their patients' SDoH needs; a majority of physicians (87%) want greater time and ability to do so in the future. To see the full results, click here.


Achieving health equity requires a data-connected healthcare system This article provides a brief overview of a session at The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, where health officials gathered to discuss the relationship between interoperability and health equity. Attendees believe technology can assist in addressing health disparities and detecting patterns. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure spoke at the event, sharing that CMS will soon publish a rule on enhanced data exchange to break down barriers to care.


CalOptima Embarks on a Groundbreaking Five-Year Strategic Vision CalOptima, a publicly funded health care system specifically for low-income families and individuals with disabilities in Orange County, California, has recently released their 5-Year Strategic Vision plan. The goal is to remove barriers to members’ access to healthcare; the plan is to implement same-day treatment authorizations and real-time claims payments for providers, annually assessing members’ social determinants of health. The plan also includes the launch of a Street Medicine Program, an initiative to support individuals experiencing homelessness by providing health and social services where individuals are.


SDOH Advocacy Update

TRCC Equity Legislation Monitor TRCC recently introduced the 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. The ELM, continuously monitored and updated, provides updates and pertinent information on research, news and legislation regarding 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 tdorney@rootcausecoalition.org or Hannah Miller at hmiller@rootcausecoalition.org.


White House Releases FY23 Budget Last week President Joe Biden announced his Fiscal Year 2023 Budget that includes many SDoH-related provisions. The budget addresses the affordable housing crisis by allocating funding for housing construction and supply as well as grants to remove barriers to affordable housing development. The budget would also strengthen the workforce by expanding Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in high growth fields, including information technology, transportation and health care while increasing access for historically underrepresented groups. Funding is proposed to build capacity at federal, state and local levels that would strengthen and improve immunization programs, public health infrastructure and public health data collection. The budget would also invest in national mental health programs while also expanding maternal health initiatives in rural communities, implementing implicit bias training for healthcare providers and addressing maternal health disparities. Finally, the Biden Administration seeks to advance environmental justice by allocating funding to strengthen climate resilience efforts and provide support for underserved communities most affected by the climate crisis. 


H.R.6878 - Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women Act of 2022 Introduced by Representative Karen Bass [D-CA], this bill would address maternal health disparities by establishing a national standard of care for pregnant incarcerated people and their children. The bill would address the needs of this underserved group by ensuring access to comprehensive quality prenatal and post-delivery care and support. The bill would also require the Federal Bureau of Prisons to collect data on the health and mental health care needs of pregnant inmates. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office would be required to conduct a study on services and protections provided for pregnant incarcerated people in local and State correctional settings, including policies on healthcare, safety and nutrition. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget. 


S.3788 - Housing for All Act of 2022 This bill was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla [D-CA] in response to the homelessness and housing crises in the U.S. The bill would increase the affordable housing supply and reduce homelessness by investing in and expanding a wide range of federal housing assistance programs. It would also establish a Commission on Racial Equity in Housing that would conduct research and gather data on racial equity in housing. The bill would also provide funding for a range of innovative, locally developed approaches to these crises including hotel conversions, mobile crisis intervention teams, library consortium pilot grants, and safe parking programs. The bill was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.


H.R.7213 - Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act This bill was introduced by Ron Kind [D-WI] to help ensure access to healthcare for those living in rural and underserved communities. The bill would ensure that patients can continue to receive point of service testing, treatment and vaccine services provided by pharmacists as established during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coverage would be provided under Medicare Part B for vaccinations, testing and treatment for COVID-19 and influenza. The bill would also establish Medicare coverage and payment for pharmacist and pharmacy-provided services during future public health emergencies as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means.


The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight

TRCC Welcomes the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition! The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition has joined the Coalition as a new partner. As an independent research institution, the Center provides scientific expertise and resources to improve diet and physical activity behaviors among youth and their families to help grow a healthier next generation. Selected by the USDA, the Center leads national evaluation and technical assistance for nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs.

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