An Introduction to the Social Determinants of Health

Efforts to improve health in the United States have historically focused on the healthcare system as the key driver of health and health outcomes.  While increasing access to healthcare and transforming the healthcare delivery system are important, research has shown that improving population health and reducing health inequities will require broad approaches to address the social determinants of health. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels.

The goal of this presentation is to enhance awareness of the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.  It will also increase knowledge about how those factors lead to health outcomes as well as ways in which community organizations can begin to remedy the issues.



References: A list of sources/articles referred to in this course is available under “Documents.”

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  1. Define social determinants of health
  2. Explain the six main categories of social determinants of health, as identified by the Kaiser Family Foundation
  3. Identify populations impacted by health disparities
  4. Understand the role that social determinants play in health disparities


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