Social determinants of health are the conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. By some estimates, 60% of premature deaths were rooted in modifiable behavioral patterns, environmental exposure, and social circumstances that are part of these social determinants of health.
Public health stakeholders from the federal to the local level are looking for ways to combat the opioid crisis. Two available resources are the Public Health 3.0 (PH3.0) framework and the ongoing work of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), an initiative of the Office of Minority Health within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Taken together, these resources offer a solution that is as unique as the crisis itself.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) mission is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. As Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, I have made it my personal goal to confront two of the largest, most intractable challenges to health and well-being in the United States: poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
In 2012, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) began a partnership with the City of Philadelphia to create a unique space to serve South Philadelphia residents that innovatively combined health care, literacy, and recreation. In May 2016, the doors to the state-of-the-art, 96,000-square-foot South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center opened, granting local residences access to an advanced medical clinic, outdoor playground, and fully stocked library with a wealth of information and services.

By LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NACCHO & Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

What will Public Health 3.0 — new model for building healthier communities across America — mean for the nation’s nearly 3,000 local public health departments (LHDs), as they face the ongoing challenge of tackling the full range of factors that influence each citizen’s overall health and well-being? …

By Sharon Ricks, Regional Health Administrator, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region IV

Sharon Ricks presenting award to Cheryl Emanuel in February 2016

This February, I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, to witness first-hand Mecklenburg County Health Department’s (MCHD) efforts to engage the faith community and other partners in its Village HeartBEAT (VHB) program.…

On October 19, Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, HHS assistant secretary for health,  unveiled Public Health 3.0, a new model for building healthier communities across America.

Read the report: Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure – PDF

Public Health 3.0 recognizes that America has made great strides in recent years to expand access to medical care and preventive services, but that these successes have not guaranteed health equity for all.…

The good news is that communities across the nation are doing the hard work to develop ambitious plans to change their local health system to foster improvements in their community's health. Tackling influencers of wellness that fall outside of the scope of the traditional health care delivery system is not only hard work, but it requires dedication and creativity.
Data, metrics, and analytics have historically been the backbone of public health practices. These tools provide the essential intelligence for actions – ranging from countering evolving epidemics, to untangling causes and effects, to prioritizing health protection resources. Yet, over the last several decades, public health’s mission has evolved from merely addressing what makes us sick to ensuring the conditions that enable everyone to be healthy.

By Neil Rudisill, Health Initiatives Manager, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council

Over the past half century, the eastside of Kansas City, Missouri has been a place of concentrated race and poverty. Despite this, the neighborhood remained relatively vibrant until the 1980s when the black middle class began moving to the suburbs. This, coupled with loss of manufacturing jobs, allowed vacancy and blight to take hold of the area.…