Greensboro AHEC partners with local organizations to identify strategies to address social determinants of health.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, social determinants of health are “conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”
Social determinants of health is not a new topic, but it is an important one for health care providers to address. Social determinants are a major part of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Healthy People 2020 objectives:
“By working to establish policies that positively influence social and economic conditions and those that support changes in individual behavior, we can improve health for large numbers of people in ways that can be sustained over time. Improving the conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play and the quality of our relationships will create a healthier population, society, and workforce.”
With this in mind, Greensboro AHEC partnered with numerous local organizations to host more than 200 health care professionals and human service providers from across North Carolina at the “Focusing on Social Determinants of Health: Transportation, Food, Housing and Toxic Stress” conference on Friday, September 21, 2018. Presenters and participants from nonprofit organizations, hospitals, behavioral health agencies, public health departments, emergency medical services, schools, and grassroots organizations in urban and rural communities identified strategies to address social determinants of health.
Dynamic keynote presentations by Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro, and Aswita Tan-McGrory, deputy director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, provided an imperative call to action. An engaging performance and debriefing from Theater Delta, a theater group for social change, provided a glimpse of the impact and interconnectedness of social determinants of health. Interactive breakout sessions from community leaders focused on six key areas of social determinants of health: transportation, food, housing, toxic stress, racism, and wealth divide. Representatives from several community agencies were also available throughout the day to provide resources.
The program was a collaborative effort between Greensboro AHEC, Cone Health Healthy Communities, Cone Health Foundation, Cone Health Office of Inclusion and Health Equity, United Way of Greater Greensboro, Guilford County Health Department, and Greensboro Housing Coalition.
Visit gahec.org for more information about Greensboro AHEC.