America's Essential Hospitals
is gathering resources and promising practices to support essential hospitals and their partners in advancing population health.

This site provides a resource for hospitals on the journey to community-integrated health care. Learn more about how our hospitals address social and economic factors that influence health, take a virtual tour of population health programs nationwide, and share a program of your own! Check back often—we're just getting started and will continue to add new programs and resources.

Social Determinants of Health

Studies show clinical care is only a small factor in the overall influences of health. Other factors, or social determinants, play a much larger role in health outcomes, quality-of-life, and life expectancy.

These social determinants of health encompass the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. Every piece of our lives has some impact on our health, from healthy diet and exercise to safe streets and community parks. By intervening in these “upstream” areas, “downstream” health outcomes can be significantly affected.

Use the icons to the right to learn more.

Housing Instability

Having difficulty paying rent, spending more than 50% of household income on housing, having frequent moves, living in overcrowded conditions, or doubling up with friends and relatives.

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Food Insecurity

The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

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Transportation

The availability of affordable and reliable modes of travel which impact an individual's ability to access well-coordinated health care, purchase nutritious food, and otherwise care for oneself.

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Utility Needs

An individual's ability to pay utility bills and/or afford necessary maintenance or repairs.

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Education

An individual's access to and completion of various levels of academic training, including early learning, primary, secondary, and post-secondary courses.

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Family and Social Supports

Interconnected relationships that provide durable patterns of interaction, interpersonal relations, nurturing, and reinforcements for coping with daily life.

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Employment and Income

An individual's ability to acquire and maintain employment, as well as general income and ability to meet daily needs.

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Interpersonal Violence

The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person or against a group or community that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

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Health Behaviors

Any activity undertaken which impacts the prevention or detection of disease or the general health and well-being of an individual.

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Health Literacy

The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

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Community Infrastructure

The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities of a community, such as roads, sidewalks, parks, water supplies, sewerage, telecommunication, and energy.

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Housing Instability

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Food Insecurity

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Transportation

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Utility Needs

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Education

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Family and Social Supports

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Employment and Income

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Interpersonal Violence

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Health Behaviors

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Health Literacy

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Community Infrastructure

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Social Needs Screening