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Penn Interprofessional Forum Addresses Social Determinants of Health

On November 8, the Penn Interprofessional Forum to Address Social Determinants of Health welcomed Dr. Laura Magana Valladares, Executive Senior Advisor, IANPHI Mexico Secretariat, National Institute of Public Health, and Dean Antonia Villarruel, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing Senior Fellow, to share the National Academy of Medicine’s report “A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health” (2016) with the Penn community.

Good health begins with a knowledge of how best to care for ourselves through diet and exercise, access to recommended immunizations and preventative screenings, and the ability to visit a doctor when we get sick. But that is just the beginning. Things like water, food, and air quality as well as the safety of our workplaces and available community support systems also play a significant part. Is it any surprise then that where we live and what financial resources we have access to can influence our overall health and wellness? These variables are known as social determinants of health.

Dr. Valladares and Dean Villarruel, who both served on the National Academy of Medicine committee that developed the report, provided highlights, thoughtful discussion, and a lively Q&A to an attentive full-house on how to address health determinants rooted in our homes, schools, and jobs. They reviewed the report’s suggested framework that integrates educational components, community involvement, and organizational support in a holistic approach to lifelong learning about SDH [see figure], and stressed the importance of community engagement, including supporting pathways to higher education in under-served communities.

Figure S-1


The video of the full lecture is available below: