Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health illustration

It is estimated that nearly 10-20% of someone’s health is modifiable, while the other 80-90% is a product of their environment collectively termed as the social determinants of health (SDH).[1] The World Health Organization (WHO) defines SDH as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.”[2]

Access to resources such as a safe living environment, food, health literacy, insurance status and many other factors drive health care outcomes and there are certain vulnerable populations who have additional barriers to care where these social determinants result in worse health care outcomes.

Training volunteers to address SDH issues faced by patients is the core component of our program. This project's goal is to screen patients for such barriers to care and help connect them to local community resources.