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Social Determinants of Health

Supporting ways in which health care, public health and social sector stakeholders can take a coordinated action to address individual, community and structural determinants of health equity.

Why we prioritize social determinants of health

Individual behaviors and actions are not the sole influences on our health.

External forces that are often beyond our control--including our income and education levels, employment opportunities, physical environment, and more--are critical when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Those external forces are what we mean when we use the phrase social determinants of health.

We are actively building partnerships between healthcare providers, community organizations, and South Carolina residents in order to address these social determinants of health, promoting efforts that address the individual, community, and societal challenges that perpetuate them.

Social Determinants of Health Roadmap

Commissioned in 2019 and first released in April of 2021, the Social Determinants of Health Roadmap outlines how the Palmetto State can address the external societal forces that lead to poor health, and will be updated over time as more insights become available.

Roadmap Development Process

This long-term effort was designed by an experienced committee of diverse health care, public health, social sector, and government stakeholders. Their roadmap aligns, amplifies, and advances existing work to address social determinants of health across the Palmetto State.

It includes a series of aspirational goals, including:

A strategy uniting stakeholders behind a shared set of goals by 2023

  • Decrease food insecurity among priority populations by 30%
  • Decrease rates of housing instability among priority populations by 30%
  • Include explicit, embedded subgoals within these objectives that address social isolation and structural racism

An emphasis on achieving these goals for shared priority populations, including:

  • Mothers and children ages 0 - 5
  • Adults with chronic diseases (including frequent users of health care and social services)
  • Individuals with mental health and substance use disorders

Specific action items to achieve these goals for priority populations

  • The immediate launch of a learning collaborative, focused initially on food security, to help cross-sector teams in four regions advance these goals
  • The formation and convening of three core groups of stakeholders: data, programmatic, and administrative
  • Convening a state-level workgroup of payers, funders, and public agencies to identify near-term opportunities to align investments, funding, and policies that can accelerate progress toward these goals

Explore the Roadmap

40% of our health is influenced by social and economic factors like income and education.