Social Determinants of Health

According to Healthy People 2030, social determinants of health (SDOH) are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risk.

Example of SDOH include:

  • Transportation options
  • Housing
  • Unemployment
  • Racism
  • Public safety
  • Access to health care services
  • Exposure to crime, violence and social disorder
  • And much more

While a mother’s preconception and prenatal health is critical to ensuring every baby has a healthy start in life, addressing the SDOH across the life course plays a large role in impacting fetal/infant deaths and disparities in birth outcomes.

Medical care alone will not reduce fetal and infant mortality. There must be an effort to eliminate underlying societal and structural root causes of poor birth outcomes to achieve health equity and ensure all babies live to celebrate their first birthday.

Healthy People 2030 offers a “place-based” organizing framework, for addressing four key areas of SDOH including: economic stability, health care access and quality,  neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.

The NEHFSC has created a Health Equity Task Force toward addressing the SDOH by working with health care providers and community partner agencies to make sure that each baby has the same resources and opportunity to be born healthy.

We have signed March of Dime’s  Birth Equity for Moms and Babies Consensus Statement and you can too. More health equity resources can be found here.

Racial Disparities Resources