Social Determinants of Health

Addressing Alaska State resident’s social determinants of health, especially those resulting in the need for increased medical care and readmissions is a priority of ASHNHA Patient Safety Committee.  Working together we collaborate to educate the public, our patients and community service organizations regarding the importance of addressing gaps in housing, social services, food education and employment.  Social Determinants of Health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

They include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care.  A growing number of initiatives are emerging to address social determinants of health. Some of these initiatives seek to increase the focus on health in non-health sectors, while others focus on having the health care system address broader social and environmental factors that influence health.  In addition to the growing movement to incorporate health impact/outcome considerations into non-health policy areas, there are also emerging efforts to address non-medical, social determinants of health within the context of the health care delivery system.  ASHNHA members are utilizing various resources and training materials to assess patient’s social needs, more information is available under Multi Visit Patient section of ASHNHA’s website. 

References & Links