Social Determinants of Health for Health Care Professionals

The social determinants of health are the interrelated social, political and economic factors that create the conditions in which people live, learn, work and play.

The intersection of the social determinants of health causes these conditions to shift and change over time and across the life span, impacting the health of individuals, groups and communities in different ways (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2018).

Health Equity

All people have the opportunity to reach their full health potential and are free from social, economic, demographic, or geographic barriers to health.

Role of the Health Care Provider

Everyone is affected by the social determinants of health and on top of their immediate health concerns, some of your patients may struggle with issues such as making ends meet, accessing healthy food to eat or navigating government assistance programs.

Health care providers have an important role to play, as a trusted source of information for patients.

Resources for Patients

INCommunities (211)

INCommunities (211) is a free and confidential phone service that can provide information and referral services to your patient by calling 2-1-1. Each call is answered by an information and referral specialist and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Community Health Prosperity (CHP)

The Community Health Prosperity Program assists patients across Niagara to increase their overall health and wellness through improved access to community services. Health promoters and a financial advisor identify the needs (Health Equity, Social, Financial, Legal, etc.) of the patient with the goal of determining if health is affecting wealth or if wealth is affecting health. From there, health promoters help to navigate to appropriate programs and services.

Through your referral to the Community Health Prosperity program, your patients become connected at no-cost with supports in the follow areas:

  • Social assistance applications (Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program)
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Food security
  • Utility payment assistance
  • Prescription drug assistance
  • Dental care
  • Family supports
  • Education supports
  • Budgeting and financial support
  • Free income tax clinics

All patients will remain under the primary care of their already rostered physician. However, they will have a coordinated care plan created as a client of the Community Health Prosperity which can be reviewed through Clinical Connect.

The coordinated care plan is a tool created through Health Quality Ontario, which becomes a fluid document of all community resources that have become affiliated with the patient and the goals of the patient that each service and program are working collaboratively with the patient to achieve.

Additional Resources

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