Social determinants of health – structural and systemic factors such as access to healthy food, the availability of safe affordable housing, and reliable public transportation for accessing education, jobs and medical care – contribute enormously to the health outcomes of individuals and communities. Variability in access to these key factors in Massachusetts has resulted in deep inequities in health outcomes across race and income. In an effort to reduce inequity and deliver better health outcomes, MPHA is partnering with community-based organizations as well as healthcare providers, insurers, and key state agencies to address these “upstream” health drivers. Our aims are three-fold:
- Promote the delivery of better quality, more cost-effective health care that has a greater focus on prevention and wellness – including health related social need,
- Bring community voice to the table with hospital systems to address social determinants of health, and
- Press the health care system to use its considerable political power for positive policy change.
Convening the Alliance for Community Health Integration
The Alliance for Community Health Integration (ACHI) works to harness the Massachusetts health care system to promote health equity and address the social needs of patients. As a coalition of public health, consumer advocacy, social service, and community organizations, ACHI is uniquely positioned to strengthen connections between health care providers and social service organizations, advocate for more impactful hospital investments in local communities, and partner with healthcare leaders to promote affordable housing options for all Massachusetts residents.