AAHC has a deep history as a convener of health professions organizations interested in actively promoting Academic Health Centers and the Social Determinants of Health: Challenges & Barriers, Responses & Solutions.
AAHC also serves as a supporter and/or adviser to several multi-stakeholder organizations advancing this important health workforce goal.
SDOH Initiative Begins
In 2010, AAHC was approached by two of its member institutions about the possibility of working to address the social determinants of health (SDOH), and translating local, isolated successes by several AAHC member institutions into a broader national movement.
AAHC’s first meeting, in 2011, on Academic Health Centers and the Social Determinants of Health challenged academic health center leaders to look beyond their traditional focus areas, and find ways to apply SDOH research findings in their mission areas and funding priorities, and start building national momentum among academic health centers.
AAHC Board Adopts Resolution
In 2012, The AAHC Board of Directors endorsed AAHC’s commitment to advance the focus of our member institutions on the social determinants of health:
“Because the social determinants of health play such an important role in overall health and well-being, the Board supports AAHC’s efforts to enhance the ability of academic health centers to respond to these critical factors in their education, research, and clinical programs.”
AAHC’s second meeting in 2012 on Academic Health Centers and the Social Determinants of Health focused on developing strategies for academic health centers to improve the health of the communities they serve by more fully addressing the SDOH in all their mission areas, as well as by creating strategic partnerships with the public health community.
Online Toolkit Developed
AAHC’s online SDOH toolkit, www.wherehealthbegins.org , was created in 2013 to advance AAHC’s efforts to build a national movement around academic health centers and SDOH, and facilitate communication and partnerships between academic health center leaders and representatives from a variety of other sectors.
In 2014, AAHC’s third meeting on Academic Health Centers and the Social Determinants of Health focused on the importance of interprofessional education and collaborative practice in addressing SDOH, as well as the various policy barriers to improving population health and strategies to overcome those challenges.
SDOH Report Released
Coming out of meeting proceedings summary and calls for action, in 2015 AAHC released the report Academic Health Centers and the Social Determinants of Health: Challenges & Barriers, Responses & Solutions .
In 2016, AAHC’s Global Issues Forum tackled the complicated issues surrounding SDOH globally. Topics discussed included strategic partnerships, measuring program impact, addressing the effect of social determinants on community health, and best practice program models for addressing SDOH for academic health centers worldwide.