The next public meeting of the Drivers of Health project will be held in Detroit on September 11. Housing, education, and access and quality of health care will be the focus. Why? This post explains.

The first public meeting of the Drivers of Health project, held in Princeton, NJ on June 17, covered social and health system factors that affect health. (You can see the agenda and webcast here.) That’s admittedly a very broad subject area. In order to make more progress in understanding the connections, the project’s advisory committee recommended we focus our attention to a few areas.

At a private meeting of the advisory committee, members collectively decided that the project should focus on housing, education, and access and quality of health care. Naturally, many other things affect health, but these were considered among the most important areas amenable to policy change.

Consequently, our Detroit meeting will feature speakers in these areas: Roshanak Mehdipanah, Ph.D., an expert on housing and health at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, Adriana Lleras-Muney, Ph.D., of UCLA, an expert on the relationship between socio-economic status and health, with a focus on education and income, and Robert Gordon, J.D., director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and expert in health care delivery, social services, and the ways they interact to affect health. The Detroit meeting is on September 11 from 1-5:15PM at the Detroit Foundation Hotel. A full agenda is posted here.

And, we have been searching the scholarly literature for what is known about the health effects of interventions in these areas, which we will also summarize at the meeting. You can find more on this site about education and housing (follow those links). Health care access and quality are large topics in their own right, the scholarly work on which we are just starting to investigate. To keep the job manageable, we’re starting with cost-related access and hospital quality.