Category: featured

The Infosphere as a SDOH: Leveraging Providers’ Influence to Counter Vaccine Misinformation

By Luke Testa, Program Assistant, The Harvard Global Health Institute In 2018, a short video circulated on WhatsApp claiming that the MMR vaccine was designed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the population growth of Muslims. Subsequently, hundreds of madrassas across western Uttar Pradesh refused to allow health departments to vaccinate their constituents.

Want to Prevent Suicides? Understand Its Causes

By Farrokh Alemi, Professor of Informatics, George Mason University Suicide prevention is getting a bad rap. Many are frustrated by its lack of effectiveness. It seems effective in some countries and for males, but in the United States, flagship programs such as the Veteran Affairs Suicide Prevention program have been accompanied with increased suicides and

Released: Health Services Research (HSR) 2020 Theme Issue on Drivers of Health

The Health Services Research (HSR) 2020 Theme Issue on Drivers of Health has been released! This open-access issue includes fourteen cutting-edge, peer-reviewed articles that illuminate social determinants of health and social/health care system interventions that promote wellbeing.

Confronting Structural Racism

Earlier this month, I participated in a plenary panel on confronting structural racism in health services research at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. I believe most of what I said generalizes outside of this field of research. My opening comments are below, and I was joined on the panel by Don Taylor and Sherilynn Black (Professor

SDOH Research in Health Affairs

The February issue of Health Affairs featured many SDOH-related papers. Below we highlighted several of these that present evidence on the effectiveness of policies aimed at addressing health-related social needs and/or structural-level drivers of health. Read on for excerpts, and follow the links for the full read.

SDOH Roundup: Racism as a Driver of Health

We’ve talked about racism as a driver of health in previous posts; indeed, the toll of racism on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) bodies has gained increasing national attention in recent weeks, especially in light of the coronavirus, which exacts disproportionate economic and health tolls on racial minorities and immigrants, and police killings of

The Economic Costs of COVID-19

The measures taken in the United States in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus have dire economic consequences, the worst the country has seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment has skyrocketed, and many Americans find themselves unable to provide for their basic needs. However, this hardship has affected the U.S. population differently and

“Addressing Social Determinants of Health: Time for a Polysocial Risk Score”

What determines health? That question drives all our work, and while we’ve observed a lot of progress in untangling the many answers to that question, we have very few tools for measuring different health effects.

Social determinants, racism, and COVID-19

At an April 11 press conference, Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged that people of color are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. For example, African Americans comprise 25% of the population of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin but nearly half of confirmed cases and three-quarters of the deaths. Latinos represent one-third of the population of New York City but

Integrating Social Services & Health

Co-authored by Austin Frakt and Kate Raphael The most recent issue of Health Affairs focuses on “Integrating Social Services & Health,” and many of the articles highlight the ways in which social policy is linked to health outcomes. Here are a few that stood out to us.   Linking Health And Social Services Through Area