CIN Resource Page: Integrating Equity in Social Needs Efforts


Increasingly, health systems are addressing social needs that impact health, such as lack of housing, transportation, and nutritious food, but these interventions are not typically structured to also address racism as a root cause of poor health. Efforts to address social needs that impact health can also inadvertently perpetuate or increase health disparities, or fail to yield the desired results.

This page provides tools and strategies for centering equity in efforts to address social needs that impact health.

Resources listed on this page reflect the focus and interests of CIN partner meetings and will be periodically updated. 

Have a resource for this page? Please submit to [email protected].

Community Health Workers and COVID-19 — Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Times of Crisis and Beyond
Short thought piece on the essential roles of community health workers in addressing social needs that impact health and how established CHW infrastructure in a community can be deployed to great effect during crises. (Patricia J. Peretz, Nadia Islam, and Luz Adriana Matiz, New England Journal of Medicine, November 5, 2020)

An Equity Lens for Identifying and Addressing Social Needs Within Pediatric Value-Based Care
Pediatric value-based care programs are a key lever for addressing social determinants of health. However, these programs can potentially increase health disparities when access is not equitable. In this article, learn about approaches for increasing equity in pediatric VBC programs. (Alon Peltz, Stephen Rogers, and Arvin Garg, Pediatrics, October 2020)

Examining Racism in Health Services Research: A Disciplinary Self-Critique
This commentary offers a self-critique of how health services research should address health inequities by deeply examining research questions, how methodological approaches are created, and how researchers are interpreting findings to avoid overlooking the understanding that racism is fundamental to health outcomes. (Rachel R. Hardeman and J’Mag Karbeah, Health Services Research, September 25, 2020)

Racism’s Hidden Toll
This editorial highlights evidence on the impact structural racism plays on health outcomes for Black Americans, including a stark look at death rates within Black communities, gaps between White and Black mortality rates, and wealth inequity between White and Black communities. (Gus Wezerek, New York Times, August 11, 2020)

Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale (PDF)
In this foundational article, the author presents a framework for understanding racism on three levels: institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of how race is not a biological construct that reflects differences but a social construct that reflects the impacts of racism. (Camara Phyllis Jones, American Journal of Public Health, August 2000)

On Racism: A New Standard for Publishing on Racial Health Inequities
In this editorial, read about how many published articles lack using race as a study variable and how few authors examine racism as a cause for residual health inequities among racial groups. This editorial provides a critique of how scholars and the journals they publish in don’t address racism and highlights examples of how that impacts health care delivery. (Rhea W. Boyd et al., Health Affairs Blog, July 2, 2020)

Advancing Racial Equity Webinar Series
This six-part webinar series explores efforts to address systemic racism in health care and identifies collective and individual actions to advance racial equity and justice. The accompanying guide (PDF) includes discussion questions and activities to help health professionals have important conversations about racism and racial health equity. (American Public Health Association, June 9–November 17, 2020)

The Social Determinants of Death
In this editorial, hear from Health Affairs‘ editor-in-chief Alan Weil on the role the health care system plays, or doesn’t, in addressing social determinants of health. Weil argues that the health care system cannot serve as a catalyst of change by simply transferring resources to the social sector. The author unpacks all determinants of health, including race and power, to give a more comprehensive look at how the health care system can work to address patients’ social needs. (Alan Weil, Health Affairs Blog, June 3, 2020)

Webinar Series: Intentionally Integrating Equity into SDOH Interventions
A five-part webinar series that highlights health equity experts from across the country who share their experiences in integrating equity into their social needs interventions. Resources include best practices, tools, and frameworks that participants can apply to their own work integrating equity into their social needs screenings, interventions, and evaluations. (Health Leads, April 4–December 3, 2020)

Racism and Health: Evidence and Needed Research
Racism is considered a fundamental cause of adverse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities. This article provides an overview of the evidence linking structural racism, cultural racism, and individual-level discrimination to mental and physical health outcomes. The authors also include evidence for certain interventions to reduce racism and to offer insights on this topic. (David R. Williams, Jourdyn A. Lawrence, and Brigette A. Davis, Annual Review of Public Health, April 2019)

The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation
A four-part webinar series that dissects the understanding of racism’s impact on individual and community health. Although this resource is from 2015, it contains relevant content and a foundation for addressing racism to improve health. (American Public Health Association, July–September 2015)