Practice Support Update Blog

Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Free and Charitable Clinics in North Carolina

May 5, 2021 4:00:00 PM / by Janice Moore, MLS

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. 

SDOH (1)The social determinants of health, or the areas in which people are born, grow, work, and age, have a profound impact on health. This month we are highlighting the article Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Free and Charitable Clinics in North Carolina.

This publication summarizes findings by Wake Forest Baptist Health researchers Deepak Palakshappa, MD MSHP, Mark Scheerer, Charles Thomas Alexander Semelka, MD, and Kristie L. Foley, PhD. Utilizing a web-based survey, this research team examined free and charitable clinics level of participation in screening for Social Determinants of Health among their 80,000 uninsured and underinsured patient population. The article examines how they can address the needs of patients even more effectively.

The article describes in detail the survey used to collect the data, how the responses were obtained and the final analysis of the data that was received. In addition to the methods of the study, the article details what the authors and researchers learned from the results. Although the results represent findings from a small sample of North Carolina free and charitable clinics, it’s findings reveal a microcosm of the barriers facing the healthcare system and how it can slowly but surely address the needs of all people.


Palakshappa D, Scheerer M, Semelka CT, Foley KL. Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Free and Charitable Clinics in North Carolina. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2020;31(1):382-397. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2020.0029. PMID: 32037338.

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Tags: Social Determinants of Health, research

Janice Moore, MLS

Written by Janice Moore, MLS

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