New national guidance on health equity is underscoring the need for coordinated efforts to address systemic causes like racism, sexism, and generational poverty. To help C4BH understand new federal updates, we welcomed Evelyn Gallego of EMI Advisors, who supported the development of this playbook, to share her insights on health equity during the December meeting.
In late 2023, the White House released the U.S. Playbook for Social Determinants of Health. Social determinants of health (SDOH), sometimes referred to as social drivers, encompass the social and economic conditions that impact people’s health, with social needs referring to non-medical circumstances at the individual level. This playbook details the White House’s efforts to address SDOH and support state, local, and tribal governments in the coordination of health care, public health, and social services.
Gallego reviewed the three pillars of the playbook and their relevance:
- Under the first pillar, the playbook discusses the importance of advancing data collection and interoperability among healthcare, public health, and social care services. Gallego commended California for actively working on the Data Exchange Framework (DxF), positioning the state as a model for others.
- The second pillar focused on using flexible funding to invest in communities and address health-related social needs. Gallego underscored the significance of optimized grant impact and resource allocation to support social care provision.
- The final pillar highlighted the need to support community backbone organizations, such as community care hubs, to bridge the gap between health systems and community-based organizations. These hubs play a crucial role in managing partnerships across sectors and addressing health-related social needs.
In her conclusion, Gallego described the playbook as a scaffold for collective efforts to improve health outcomes. She encouraged multi-sector engagement and collaboration to build a supported, safe, and effective approach to addressing SDOH.
Health Committee Updates
During the December meeting, we also received a legislative update from Kristine Mapile, consultant with the Assembly Health Committee, California State Assembly. In her update, Mapile discusses significant changes in the legislative landscape, including the departure of Dr. Wood as the Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. Mapile introduced Assemblymember Mia Bonta as the new chair, highlighting Bonta’s priorities such as health equity, workforce issues, and public health. Within the legislature, ongoing discussions around the Data Exchange Framework involve addressing privacy concerns and the importance of continued funding for successful information sharing.
Read the U.S. Playbook for Social Determinants of Health here.