The Northwest AHEC Practice Support Team supports social, physical, and economic environments which promote attaining the full potential of health and well-being for all. This blog segment highlights impactful publications which promote improved health outcomes through Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) each month.
Our featured report this month discusses Social Determinants of Health as a Call to Action for Employers.
Social Determinants of Health-Relevant History, A Call to Action, An Organization's Transformational Story, and What Can Employers Do? American Journal Health Promotion Osmick, JM & Wilson, M. (2020). 34(2):219-224. doi: 10.1177/0890117119896122d. PMID: 31931600.
This article gives the reader significant, yet practical guidance on how employers can make substantial progress with treating their target populations, along with their employees, in achieving health equity. The article shows that although there has been a clear call to action by the U.S. since the mid-80s to address health equity by examining and addressing (SDOH), data shows there are still large health disparities within the nation that affect the most vulnerable populations.
One of the authors, Marcella Wilson, CEO of a not-for-profit charity in Detroit discusses her personal experience in strategizing to change the community of 10,000 that her organization was tasked to serve. She stated that working with these individuals led her to set a goal of changing the nation’s understanding of poverty. “Poverty was re-conceptualized as a toxic environmental exposure, no different from polluted water, lead paint, or black mold.”
Marcella Wilson also began to realize in helping the community, her own workforce was facing many of the same issues and she changed how her organization addressed the needs and care of the employees. There was an overhaul in managing resources and care for clients as well as employees, and it created a stronger, and healthier workforce and a more responsive system of care for those being served.