Social Determinants

The World Health Organization describes social determinants of health as the conditions under which people are “born, grow up, live, work, and age.” These factors have a significant impact on the health of individuals and communities.

As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states, “The human person is not only sacred but also social.” Through family, community and society, we exist and thrive only in relation to one another. Because of this, pursuit of the common good is central to what we stand for as a Catholic organization.

The Catholic concepts of distributive and social justice guide our work on the social determinants of health, calling us to ensure that all people—especially the poor and vulnerable—have the resources they need to live healthy, whole lives.

Social determinants of health, such as food and housing insecurity, threaten the dignity of human life, and disproportionately impact those at the margins of society.

Presence Health is committed to addressing social determinants of health, including:

  • Improving social, economic and structural determinants of health. Addressing fundamental needs of individuals and communities helps build healthy communities, including safe neighborhoods, access to affordable housing and the ability to fulfill one’s potential through employment. We support efforts to remove barriers so individuals can experience health and stability.
  • Improving mental and behavioral health. Connecting physical and mental health is core to our mission to treat the whole person. We support efforts to fund adequate and accessible care for those who struggle with mental illness in our communities.
  • Preventing and reducing chronic disease. Coordinating and integrating health care services to help prevent and manage chronic conditions respects the inherent dignity of each individual. We support efforts to provide access to healthy food, encourage physical activity and coordinate care to mitigate negative health events.
  • Increasing access to care and community resources. Access to adequate health care is a fundamental human right. This ensures that the poor and vulnerable are not left behind. We support initiatives that connect individuals to the resources they need

Presence Health works in partnership with individuals and organizations that have deep knowledge and expertise in these areas. To see what public policies we have supported in these areas, please see our Legislative Year in Review.