Social Determinants of Health

The AHA, HRET and ACHI are working to support hospitals and health systems as they address social determinants of health, eliminate health care disparities and provide comprehensive care to every patient in every community—all of which improve community health.

We are currently developing a series of resources on how hospitals can address the social determinants of health in their communities. Click on the icons below to view reports, case studies, webinars and videos on eight social determinants of health.

Food Insecurity Icon Housing Insecurity Icon Transportation Insecurity Health Behaviors Coming Soon logo
Education Coming Soon logo Social Support Coming Soon icon Violence Coming Soon icon Employment Coming Soon icon


View additional resources from the American Hospital Association on social determinants of health:

Meals on Wheels America logo

Meals on Wheels America Partnership

The AHA Center for Health Innovation and Meals on Wheels America are partnering to better serve the nutritional needs of older people in our communities. This national partnership is the first effort of its kind to define and disseminate a tested nutrition-responsive discharge planning and care transition program aimed at identifying and addressing the risk of malnutrition among older patients.

This work will:

  • Enhance and expand current efforts where our organizations are already working together across the country
  • Identify and address malnutrition among older patients along the clinical-to-community continuum of care in these markets
  • Examine interventions that are working; determine barriers to success
  • Create new educational resources to promote good nutrition for older patients, such as toolkits, webinars and case studies

To learn more, please feel free to contact Nancy Myers, Vice President of Leadership and System Innovation for the AHA Center for Health Innovation, at

Community Health Initiatives at the American Hospital Association

Community Health Initiatives at the American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association and the Health Research & Educational Trust are working to support community health through innovative campaigns, alliances, initiatives, publications and awards. This work focuses on several areas, including health equity and eliminating care disparities, community health workers, violence and safety, health system and community collaborations to advance health, and social determinants of health. Highlights from our work in community health are described the document, Community Health Initiatives at the American Hospital Association.

Ensuring Access to Care in Vulnerable Communities cover

Ensuring Access to Care in Vulnerable Communities

Established in 2015, the Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities examined the challenges faced by vulnerable rural and urban communities to ensure access to health services for individuals living in those communities. The task force has outlined nine emerging strategies for preserving access. The ultimate goal is to provide vulnerable communities and the hospitals that serve them with the tools necessary to determine the essential services they should strive to maintain locally, and the delivery system options that will allow them to do so.


Emerging Strategies to Ensure Access to Health Care Services cover

Emerging Strategies to Ensure Access to Health Care Services - Social Determinants of Health

The Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities examined ways in which the access to and delivery of care could be improved. During that process, the Task Force grappled with the reality that, in vulnerable communities, even if quality care is available, social determinants often prevent individuals from being able to access health care or achieve health goals. This document provides more information on social determinants of health, along with federal policy solutions to pursue, and actions for hospitals and health systems to deploy.

Hospitals Against Violence banner

Hospitals Against Violence

Hospitals Against Violence is an AHA initiative to elevate the importance of workplace and community violence prevention as a public health issue for hospitals and health systems. The initiative has aggregated and produced numerous resources to support hospitals’ violence prevention work.


Next Generation of Community Health

The AHA’s 2016 Committee on Research was charged with exploring what the next generation of community health may look like as hospitals redefine themselves to keep pace with the changing health care landscape. The committee released this work in the form of a report, “Next Generation of Community Health.”

    Social Determinants of Health Series: Housing and the Role of Hospitals

    What is housing instability? Each year, there are 1.48 million homeless individuals in the United States. In addition, some individuals are not homeless but live in unstable conditions. Housing instability—a term for the continuum between homelessness and stable, secure housing—can ...

    Related Resources

    AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
    Partnerships among various stakeholders in the health care ecosystem will be key to successfully engaging patients in population health models, explained…
    AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
    Kaiser Permanente last week unveiled three multimillion-dollar initiatives to create affordable housing for vulnerable populations in its service areas. The…
    Hospitals and health systems are increasingly focused on ways to address the social and economic factors that can affect health and health outcomes for their…
    AHA shares insights on addressing social risk factors with the Department of Health and Human Services
    Hospitals are focusing on nutrition to care for all needs of their patients, sending them home with prescriptions as well as bags of healthy food.
    October 2018—Arkansas Children’s Hospital is advancing the health of its community through its social needs screening tool, which enables the hospital to…