Ask your Members of Congress to support the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020!

Support organ donors

COVID-19 is disproportionately high in the same communities that have high rates of kidney disease. The same underlying illnesses that cause end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in communities of color - diabetes and hypertension - also increase the mortality rate of COVID-19. There are also correlations between non-medical factors and poorer health outcomes. The Centers on Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) call these elements social determinants of health (SDOH), and they are defined as “conditions in the environments in which people live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” Essentially, there is an association between a healthy community and access to nutritious food, safe housing, education, and good jobs.

As part of the CDC’s Healthy People 2020 initiative, they included a goal of creating “social and physical environments that promote good health for all.” The CDC has stated that community-wide, nonclinical aspects to public health show positive outcomes that improve the public health and decrease health care costs. However, the CDC and public health departments are not funded to provide cross cutting work that includes these nonclinical interventions.

On April 21, 2020, Representative Nanette Barragan (D-CA) introduced legislation entitled H.R. 6561, the “Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020.” A Senate companion bill, S. 4440, was introduced on August 5 by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chris Murphy. The bills cite that medical care only accounts for about 10 to 20 percent of the modifiable contributions for healthy outcomes to a population and would create grants to study, address, and improve the social, economic and environmental factors that make up public health. Specifically, the bills would create the Social Determinants of Health Program at the CDC which would:

  • Coordinate across CDC to ensure programs consider and incorporate SDOH in grants and activities
  • Award grants to state, local, territorial, and Tribal health agencies and organizations to address SDOHs in target communities
  • Award grants to nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education to conduct research on SDOH best practices; provide technical assistance, training and evaluation assistance to target community grantees; and disseminate best practices
  • Coordinate, support, and align SDOH activities at CDC with other agencies, such as CMS and others
  • Collect and analyze data related to SDOH activities

The legislation would create a pathway for improvements in communities that currently have higher rates of chronic illness by funding public health departments to work with other social services departments to ensure individuals have access to safe housing, education, job training, and nutrition programs. Together, all these aspects of life can be improved and help slow the progression of kidney disease in minority communities, including reducing the number of people who must go on dialysis.

Please contact your U.S. Representative and your U.S. Senators to request co-sponsorship of H.R. 6561 and S.4440, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020.

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Contact

*Required fields
 

The following questions are for AKF internal use only

1.
Question - Not Required - What is your connection to kidney disease?










2.


 

Once you submit the form, your personalized message will be sent directly to your Members of Congress.

 
 

Message

Please cosponsor H.R.6561/S. 4440, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020

Dear [Decision Maker],

I have been touched by kidney disease and as your constituent, I'm requesting that you cosponsor H.R.6561/S.4440, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020.

COVID-19 has had a disproportionately high effect in the same communities that have high rates of kidney disease. The same underlying illnesses that cause newest cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in communities of color, diabetes and hypertension, also increase the mortality rate of COVID-19. There are correlations between non-medical factors and poorer health outcomes, referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH).

The nation's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a number of programs that collect and provide information about SDOH to the public. In its "Healthy People 2020" plan, CDC defines SDOH as "conditions in the environments in which people live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks." The CDC's five key areas are: 1) economic stability; 2) education; 3) social and community context; 4) health and healthcare; and 5) neighborhood and built environment. The correlation between communities of color and health disparities is clear, and it shows how these non-medical components need to be addressed to better ensure the health and life of communities of color.

As part of the CDC's Healthy People 2020 initiative, they included a goal of creating "social and physical environments that promote good health for all." The CDC has stated that community-wide, nonclinical aspects to public health show positive outcomes that improve the public health and decrease health care costs. However, the CDC and public health departments are not funded to provide cross cutting work that includes these nonclinical interventions.

On April 21, 2020, Representative Nanette Barragan (D-CA) introduced legislation entitled H.R. 6561, the "Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020." A Senate companion bill, S. 4440, was introduced on August 5 by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chris Murphy. The bills cite that medical care only accounts for about 10 to 20 percent of the modifiable contributions for healthy outcomes to a population and would create grants to study, address, and improve the social, economic and environmental factors that make up public health. Specifically, the bills would create the Social Determinants of Health Program at the CDC which would:

+ Coordinate across CDC to ensure programs consider and incorporate SDOH in grants and activities
+ Award grants to state, local, territorial, and Tribal health agencies and organizations to address SDOHs in target communities
+ Award grants to nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education to conduct research on SDOH best practices; provide technical assistance, training and evaluation assistance to target community grantees; and disseminate best practices
+ Coordinate, support, and align SDOH activities at CDC with other agencies, such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and others
+ Collect and analyze data related to SDOH activities

This legislation would create a pathway for improvements in communities that currently have higher rates of chronic illness by funding public health departments to work with other social services departments to ensure individuals have access to safe housing, education, job training, and nutrition programs. Together, all these aspects of life can be improved and help slow the progression of kidney disease in minority communities, including reducing the number of people who must go on dialysis.

Please consider cosponsoring this important legislation.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]