Social Determinants of Health Featured at the CCO Oregon Spring Conference

July 5, 2017   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Social Determinants of Health , Conference , CCOs
Katrina Seipp, MPH

CCO Oregon’s Spring Conference on June 6 brought together health care, CCO, and social service leaders from across Oregon to discuss the importance of addressing the social determinants of health when striving to impact the health of Oregonians. This conference was a call to action to identify new opportunities for innovative programs and cross-sector partnerships to drive change across and between social services and health systems.

The social determinants of health include factors such as education, housing, food security, employment, socioeconomic status, and physical environment. This broad spectrum of factors can make it challenging to know where to begin when addressing social and environmental determinants, which account for 20% of premature deaths.

The good news from the conference: you don’t have to do it all! Many others share the same goal and vision! Some takeaways:

  1. Innovative solutions come from cross-sector partnerships. If we want different outcomes, we need different solutions, and new solutions come from new partnerships. From Dr. Rishi Manchanda’s opening keynote to LeRoy Jones’s closing keynote, and many breakout sessions in between, this theme threaded throughout the conference. A single organization can’t do it all alone, nor should it need to. The key is to identify opportunities for cross-sector efficiencies by bringing together the health care and social sector, which may not traditionally see themselves as partners. Working for common solutions can require a shift in mindset for how payers, health care providers and social services can head upstream together to address social determinants. 
  2. Shared data measures. One core element in effective cross-sector partnerships is the need to identify common quality improvement measures and collect meaningful data to measure progress and drive change. These data measures can come from medical or social encounters and may be from an untapped data source. Identifying shared measures and data sources across sectors ensures each stakeholder is invested and accountable, and that each will gain meaningful data from the partnership.
  3. Reflect on your role in cross-sector partnership. As we collaborate to head upstream together to address social determinants, what are each of our roles and responsibilities? What do you do well within your clinic? With whom do you need to partner to do other things well?

Throughout my career in public health and health care quality improvement at HealthInsight, I’ve focused on heading upstream by facilitating collaborative efforts between community-based social service organizations and clinics to address how patients’ health care and social needs can be addressed inside and outside the traditional health care system. After the conference I reflected on my personal role and HealthInsight’s role within these coalitions and the impact it has on social determinants of health. One thing immediately came to mind—data! Leaving the conference, I’m prepared to support new partnerships and opportunities with innovative data collection and measurement resources.

The next step in our journey to address social determinants of health is to find the time and place to convene meaningful conversations about partnerships. No one person or organization can do it alone!

Katrina Seipp, MPH has worked with HealthInsight Oregon since 2015. Currently, she coordinates the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Everyone with Diabetes Counts initiative and the Integrating Evidence-based Self-Management Education into Patient Care Special Innovation Project in Oregon. Before joining HealthInsight, Katrina worked for the Oregon Health Authority-Public Health Division supporting initiatives focused on community-based approaches to self-management education to reduce the burden of chronic disease. She has a background in community organizing and forging clinical-community relationships. Katrina earned her Master of Public Health degree from Portland State University.