Social Determinents Of Health Explored At Event

Sep 11, 2019

Where you live and other socio-economic factors can have a negative influence on your health. A recent event outlined ways Indiana is addressing this issue.

Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says place can influence access to a quality education, healthy food, transportation and safe housing.

"If we’re not recognizing that and addressing that in the same way we do in clinical medicine then we’re really leaving out a major part of their health," says Box. 

Box gave the keynote speech at the event hosted by BioCrossroads, a company that works to connect those involved in Indiana’s life sciences sector.  

Other speakers highlighted data collection and referral programs at work in the state. 

One project to address high rates of diabetes in certain Indianapolis neighborhoods utilizes community health workers. Lisa Staten, an associate professor at IU Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, says this is key. 

"It’s about the linkages to some existing things that people don’t know exist at all," says Staten. 

Last year Indiana launched the Healthy Opportunities initiative to address social determinants of health.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.