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Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

14 Feb 2019 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Prosperity Indiana has been thinking a lot about the Social Determinants of Health lately. Our entire 2018 Summit was dedicated to the intersection between Health and Community Development. We have partnered with the CareSource Foundation to bring funding to our members for innovations in the social determinants of health. It is even explicitly mentioned in our new identity statement.

Why are the social determinants of health (SDOH) important?

Medical care is estimated to account for only 10-20 percent of the modifiable (i.e., not genetic) contributors to health outcomes for a population. Another 30 percent can be attributed to health behaviors such as diet, exercise, and drug use. The remaining 50-60 percent is determined by the SDOH – the conditions of the physical and social environment. (Source)

But what exactly are the SDOH?

The SDOH are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks (Source). These conditions include both the physical attributes of a place, as well as the patterns of social engagement and sense of well-being of the people who live there.

Lists vary based on the source, but generally the SDOH fall under five key categories:

  • Economic Stability
    • Employment
    • Food insecurity
    • Housing instability
    • Poverty
  • Education
    • Early childhood education
    • High school graduation
    • Enrollment in higher education
    • Language and literacy
  • Social and Community Context
    • Civic participation
    • Discrimination
    • Incarceration
    • Social cohesion
    • Social acceptability of risky behaviors
    • Isolation and loneliness
  • Health and Health Care
    • Access to health care
    • Access to primary and preventative care
    • Health literacy
  • Neighborhood and Built Environment
    • Access to healthy food
    • Crime and violence
    • Environmental conditions
    • Safe housing

Do you have a project that addresses one of these areas? Click here to learn how you can apply for up to $50,000 through our Empower Indiana Grant Challenge, funded by the CareSource Foundation.


Prosperity Indiana
1099 N. Meridian Street, Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Phone // 317.222.1221 
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