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Social Determinants of Health: Family Physicians’ Leadership Role

Mar 2, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Practice Support Team

The Northwest AHEC Practice Support Team is committed to promote understanding and improve the orientation of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) for North Carolinians. In order to support these goals, we will share a publication on SDOH each month on our Practice Support Blog. 

This week, we would like to introduce the article “Social Determinants of Health: Family Physicians’ Leadership Role” from aafp.org. Our practice support team has identified this article as a valuable resource to healthcare professionals in our region. The article details how family physicians have leading roles in identifying and addressing issues that affect their patients beyond the clinical setting 

CCAgraphicOne of the ways to begin incorporating social determinants of health screening into clinic visits is to begin utilizing the  EveryOne Project, an SDOH toolkit. The EveryONE Project toolkit (https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/social-determinants-of-health/everyone-project/eop-tools.html) was launched in 2018 by the American Academy of Family Physicians to provide clinicians with education and resources to advance health equity.  

The article states that in traditional medical care settings, screening promotes health by allowing for  earlier diagnosis of diseases so that treatment can begin promptly to prevent poor outcomes.  Similarly, screening for SDOH may improve the overall health of patients because SDOH can influence a patient’s access to medical care and treatment. 

Family physicians can be early adopters of SDOH tools and models for practice, and they can advocate for use of these tools across systems of care.  

Sherin K, Adebanjo T, Jani A. Social Determinants of Health: Family Physicians' Leadership Role. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Apr 15;99(8):476-477. PMID: 30990299. 

View full text article: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0415/p476.html 

Tags: Social Determinants of Health, family medicine

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