CHCs Leveraging the Social Determinants of Health

March, 2012
IAF and NACHC Projects funded by the Kresge Foundation
Major forces shaping health care likely to lead to very
different primary care in 2025 – including the community
centered health home (CCHH); broadened primary care
team, including Community Health Workers; advanced,
personalized health & disease knowledge; digital health
coaches; evolved payment forms; & self care
Scenarios have relevance for all health care development and
funding (How likely do you think each scenario is?; which of
the scenarios do you prefer?)
For Leveraging Social Determinants – this is likely to be a
more conscious part of health care, and this is explored in
scenarios 3 and 4. see
Health is shaped by many factors, particularly the social
determinants of health
Growing focus on the Triple AIM and Population Health
Population health requires going beyond the clinic to
shape community conditions.
CHCs routinely do this in a many ways as they “leverage
the social determinants of health”
This project identifies & summarizes CHCs’ efforts
Partnership with the National Association of Community
Health Centers
Kresge Foundation grant to the Institute for Alternative
National Workshop of leaders considering state of
knowledge, state of the art, and recommendations
WHO: “…the conditions in which people are born, grow, live,
work and age, including the health system. These
circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money,
power and resources at global, national and local levels,
which are themselves influenced by policy choices.”
CDC: “…the complex, integrated and overlapping social
structures and economic systems that are responsible for
most health inequities. These social structures and economic
systems include the social environment, physical
environment, health services and structural and societal
RWJF: “Health starts where we live, learn, work and play.”
Source: 1993 – M = McGinnis and Foege, JAMA, 1993, 270, 2207-2212; 2002 - McGinnis, Russo, Knickman, 2002,
Health Affairs, 21,3,83; HPC – “Healthy, Productive Canada, Final Report of the Senate Subcommittee on Population
Health. June 2009; CHR = County Health Rankiings, 2010
COPC Origins of CHCs
HRSA Program Expectations: “facilitate access to comprehensive
health and social services…and additional services if critical to improving
the health status of a specific community or population group”
SDH in Emerging Models of Health Care: Chronic Care
Model, PCMH, Comprehensive Health Home, Community Centered Health
Healthcare Quality (the Triple Aim) requires improved
population health
Hippocrates & Flexner
A clinic is leveraging the social determinants of
health (SDH) when it moves beyond providing
health care to address
or change the
built environment or social and economic
conditions that affect health and wellbeing.
Create Database
PCA Surveys
Key literature; online searching; announcements
CDN literature review of cases in peer reviewed journal
Conference sessions NACHC 2011 P&I, CHI, CDN Webinar
Specific network requests
Data Base: 176 Efforts/52 CHCs (50 FQHCs, 1 Look-Alike, 1 Social
Service Agency)
◦ Limitations: not random sample, not exhaustive
◦ But indicative
and supplemented by
◦ CDN literature review,
◦ 10 case studies, and
◦ data from HRSA/BPHC Universal Data System
Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Ridgeland, South
Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, El Paso, Texas
Community Health Partners, Livingston, Montana
Hudson River HealthCare, Peekskill, New York
Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, New York, New York
Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, Honolulu, Hawaii
La Clínica de La Raza, Oakland, California
La Maestra Community Health Centers, San Diego, California
Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Seattle, Washington
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Most CHCs Leverage the SDH
CHCs pursue a wide range of effort areas
CHC Leadership is key
Variety in how SDH efforts are managed
Partnership, partnerships, partnerships
Funding is often a challenge, most programs are not selfsustaining
Unclear about impact/effectiveness beyond anecdotal
results (which are impressive)
In 2007, CHCs reporting to HRSA/BPHC provided or made referrals for:
98.7% - health education
98.3% - eligibility assistance
94.8% - WIC services
92.4% - parenting education
91.1% - nursing home and
assisted-living placements
90.1% - food banks or delivered
90.1% - obtaining suitable
89.7% - Head Start services
89.0% - employment and
educational counseling services
82.9% - environmental health
risk reduction programs
68.1% - child care during a patient's visit to the center
HRSA program expectations call for it
It’s in the DNA of CHCs
Models of primary care and health quality increasingly
require improved population health
Believe that sustainable impact on health requires
community-level interventions.
Are well-positioned for it (know their communities
well; have a stable, long-term presence; employ
community members)
Job Skills, Employment, and Workforce Development
Healthy Eating and Diet
Physical Activity and Exercise
Social Conditions, including community safety, wellbeing, and
involvement; family and social support and emotional wellbeing
Economic Development
Housing, Built Environment, and Recreational Spaces
Policy, Advocacy, and Activism
Youth development programs (28% of efforts; 50% of CHCs)
Family and social support (25% of efforts; 31% of CHCs)
Access to healthy foods (23% of efforts; 60% of CHCs)
Job skills, employment, and workforce development (22% of efforts; 40% of
Health education (21% of efforts; 50% of CHCs)
Physical Activity and Exercise (19% of efforts; 48% of CHCs)
Community safety, wellbeing, and involvement (19% of efforts; 44% of CHCs)
Nutrition education (16% of efforts; 44% of CHCs)
Healthy, safe, and affordable housing (16% of efforts; 33% of CHCs)
Recreational spaces and improved air and water quality in the community (11%
of efforts; 25% of CHCs)
Adult education (10% of efforts; 21% of CHCs)
Reach Out and Read 18% of all 8,100 CHC sites in 2010
National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership in 150 CHCs
Health Leads 660 college volunteers, across 22 sites in 2010,
including 5 CHCs
AmeriCorps & NACHC Community HealthCorps Nearly 500
members in CHCs often functioning as community health
workers & advancing community gardening
Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
United Way
Canyon Ranch Institute to prevent, diagnose, and address
chronic diseases, provide exercise equipment
Corporation for National and Community Service, including
Senior Companions who assist with shopping and light chores,
interacting with doctors, or just making a friendly visit.
TimeBanks USA to promote equality and build caring
community economies through inclusive exchange of time and
States' Department of Education or a State agency serving the
same function may assist with planning, designing, or
implementing new charter schools.
Most Frequent: obesity, diabetes, hypertension,
cardiovascular disease and asthma
Behavioral or psychiatric problems among community
members, e.g., depression among socially isolated
Less Frequent: parasitic worms; depression; mercury
content in local fish
Anecdotal observations by CHC personnel or community
Grant opportunities
A non-CHC organization approaches the CHC or provides the
opportunity, e.g. national programs
Uncommon and significant events: a violent beating of an
immigrant, High School shooting, infections, natural
disasters, 9/11, high levels of mercury and PCPs in local
Less frequently: stepping in to enable the survival of existing
programs or efforts by others
Depends…and may choose one or more strategy:
 A specialized, formal position or division with dedicated staff.
◦ Ranging from program area coordinators, Directors of Special Programs, and
specialized CHC departments to subsidiary organizations with their own funding
streams and offices to oversee staff and manage SDH activities.
Distributed among several departments.
◦ Several CHC departments engage in specific efforts that address the SDH, along with
their respective clinical programs and services.
Seamlessly integrated with clinic operations.
◦ E.g., prescribe and refer to services and resources, ROR, outreach workers providing
support and advice, CHCs as businesses and employers.
Project-based management teams.
◦ Consist of personnel from across the organization and form and disband according to
funding opportunities.
CHCs are great at partnerships.
Frequent Partners: public housing, churches, community
centers, YMCA, public health departments, hospitals, local
social agencies, local police, politicians, schools, local
business, government agencies, builders and developers
Community support and enthusiasm is essential and
community input affects program design
CDN literature review: “The Community Health Center or
other health care providers were a partner in the
collaborative planning of the interventions in eight efforts
[of 14] and played smaller facilitating roles in four projects”.
Funding is often a challenge.
Most often rely on external funding (e.g., grants,
donations), often multiple sources;
◦ 1- to 3-year grants are most common.
◦ Sources: Public funds (federal, state), private and community
foundations, corporations and small businesses, charities,
donations, CHC operating budget and fundraising events, bonds
and low-interest loans for housing.
Among 176 efforts, grants range from $2,500 to more than
$8 million.
Estimating the share of a CHC’s total work or funds that go
to leveraging SDH is challenging.
64 or more (36%) efforts primarily rely on grants
◦ Most often: public grants, i.e., WIC (USDA); HRSA; Federal Sustainability
Grants; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Safe Schools/Healthy Students
initiative; state pregnancy prevention funds.
◦ Most private grants come from foundations (27 out of 176 efforts
[15%]), incl. 20 efforts that received funding from local foundations and 12 efforts
that received funding from national foundations.
28 or more (16%) rely on internal funding (including
donations) to varying degrees
10 or more (6%) include income-generating activities by
which the effort is largely, if not entirely, self-sustaining,
e.g., housing that produces adequate rental income,
farmers’ markets that collect a fee to participate
Meet performance requirements at each renewal to maintain
government sponsorship, e.g., charter schools, WIC, and government
subsidies for low-income housing.
Relatively heavy initial investment and then become selfsustaining, e.g., housing (with rental income) and community gardening
programs (in conjunction with farmers' markets), both of which take some
funds or resources to initially establish but thereafter can become selfsustainable.
Use donations and/or CHC operating budget if cost is small,
e.g., for students to shadow health professionals, providing nonpartisan
voter registration forms
Create and later transfer efforts to other organizations or turn into
small businesses.
Most programs, however, are not entirely self-sustaining.
Often require outside funds & continually subject to
changes in funding levels.
May be sustained by renewing the same grants, though
often CHCs move a program every 1 - 5 years from one
grant to another to sustain the effort, including
◦ temporarily covering the cost of the program through the
operating budget and
◦ modifying the design of the program to fit the funder's
In 10 years:
300 acres of brownfields developed
21 companies moved to valley, 7 existing companies expanded
4,200 family-supporting local jobs created
900,000+ sq. ft. of green buildings and 7 miles of trails
45 acres of native plants installed (improved wildlife habitat
and water quality)
o Dropped the prevalence of
lead poisoning among
children from 34 percent in
1996 to 1.8 percent in 2011
In 2010:
 Supported 37 GED grads (vs. 110 HS grads)
 Distributed 200 books each month through the Reach Out and
 Placed 18 adults in subsidized employment
 Provided workplace training for 94 participants.
 Served 44 families through its preschool program
 Served an average of 45 parents and children through a weekly
Open Gym.
◦ Housing
 ~200 beds and
adequate/safe housing for
 20 rental apartments for
low-income families plus 5
units for families
transitioning from
homelessness (all fully
occupied since 2010)
◦ Scholarships ($1,[email protected])
 140+ scholarships in 2010
 1,600 students since 1995
Eliminated parasitic worm infections among local children
◦ Compared to: at least 50 percent of preschool children in Beaufort County were
suffering from parasitic worms in the late 1960s
In 2010 alone, the clinic had 16 septic systems installed and
another 16 were anticipated for 2011.
Total of 1,000 cluster wells, including electricity to run the pump
Total of 2882 bathrooms, complete with a commode, sink, toilet, and
Helped organize water systems and fire protection for two
Worked with state government to change policy and mandate
better sanitary services
Benefited on average over 10,000 children and families per
year, for three years
Created positive community trends, including
◦ A drop in crime along with an increasing sense of
improvement in the problems of youth violence and
substance abuse,
◦ An increase in the percentage of children and teens
involved in after-school and summer programs,
◦ A coalition of community residents and leaders, service
providers, educators, and law enforcement personnel
working collaboratively on solving community problems.
From 1998 to 2003, trained over 560 community members to
work as medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, eligibility
workers, outreach workers, and referral clerks
six months later, 70% of these participants had remained at their jobs.
Today, more than 500 women are participating in the La
Maestra Microcredit Program for Women, with a 98 percent
repayment rate
60 percent of transitional housing program residents
successfully recover from a variety of issues, including alcohol
and substance abuse, and become and remain employed
CHCs meet all grant reporting requirements
There is little published on impact of programs that
leverage the SDH; most efforts have not had rigorous
statistical evaluation of program impact (IAF, CDN
Literature Review)
5 of 52 CHCs partnered with a third-party evaluator,
paid through the grant for a particular program/effort
Most reports of successes are anecdotal
Monitoring & Evaluation challenges:
◦ CHC clients are in transient communities, so subjects
may leave before evaluation completed
◦ Some people benefit from programs but are not
necessarily patients of the CHC, so health or SDH
records are absent or limited
◦ True program impact may take years, but grants are
short (1-3 years)
◦ Prospective studies are expensive
What CHCs Should Do
Spreading the leveraging of the social determinants of health among community
health centers
1. Develop and implement a systematic process for identifying
community strengths and needs, beyond the clinical needs
that individual patients present with at the health centers.
2. Create and promote the use of a standardized health risk
assessment for all patients that goes beyond conventional
physical or behavioral health conditions to include social and
environmental determinants of health-related needs of the
National Leadership and Funding
Developing an evidence-base for leveraging the social determinants of health, and
identifying and disseminating best practices
6. Pilot learning communities should test ideas and interventions
for FQHCs and other organizations engaged in leveraging the
social determinants of health.
Building the social determinants of health into existing breakthrough
7. To create a national learning community, HRSA should include
the leveraging of the social determinants of health in existing
national breakthrough collaboratives.
National Leadership and Funding
Incentivizing engagement of the social determinants of health
12. Engage philanthropy in building a bridge between the social
determinants of health and the clinical setting.
Communication Strategies for Leveraging the Social
Determinants of Health
13. Frame efforts to leverage the social determinants of health in
ways that are intuitively meaningful to multiple sectors, the
general public, and the community at large.
14. Pass on the legacy of community aspirations and the social
determinants of health.
CHCs generally and efforts to “leverage the social
determinants of health” provide important opportunities
in your communities
Are there efforts to leverage the SDH in your community
that your CHCs should be involved in?
the Project Report, and the full 10 case studies, and the
data base are available at
◦ Other CHCs and health care providers can add their efforts to the
data base at this site
Next steps include working to develop recognition and
awards for best practices in leveraging the SDH, and CHC

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