The House of Representatives announced the formation of a new Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Caucus.
The Caucus will explore opportunities to improve the impact of current services delivered to address social determinants with the support of federal funding and maximize existing and future federal investments in health, food, housing, transportation, and other important drivers of health. The co-chairs of the caucus include Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Tom Cole (OK-4), G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), and Markwayne Mullin (OK-2).
As one of its first official activities, the caucus released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback on challenges and opportunities related to social determinants of health. In a continuation of our efforts to prioritize and include diversity, equity, and inclusion in our advocacy efforts, we responded to the RFI to highlight a variety of ways the caucus can work within Congress to address social determinants of health.
The Society’s letter highlighted ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social determinants of health and pointed to how technology like telehealth can help bridge healthcare divides, particularly for rural and tribal communities. We also highlighted how endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can impact already vulnerable populations due to environmental factors often out of their control, and the importance of sustained funding for research and interventions for chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity which also disproportionately affect minority populations in the U.S.
We are pleased that the SDOH Caucus is focusing on how to address these social determinants and improve the health of all Americans and hope to work with the caucus to help advance its goals.