Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Why address Social Determinants of Health in SBHCs?

Access to and use of healthcare is only one factor that affects the health of children and adolescents. Environmental factors such as housing, the quality of education, access to nutritious foods and reliable transportation, family income, and discrimination can affect young people’s quality of life and their chance to thrive in adulthood. These social determinants of health can cause significant disparities among children and adolescents.

How do SBHCs address Social Determinants of Health?

Conveniently offering comprehensive health services in schools allows children and adolescents to get back to class quickly so they can continue their education. SBHCs eliminate the need to travel to appointments, which can be a barrier for some youth. By collaborating with school and community partners, SBHCs can raise awareness about federal nutrition programs and the importance of eating nutritious foods and can address food insecurity by partnering with local food pantries. SBHCs can educate children and adolescents of color and those from families with low income about the healthcare field and spur interest in pursuing careers in healthcare. Through care coordination, partnerships, and screenings for the social determinants of health, SBHCs provide support and programs that lay the foundation for youth to thrive as adults.  

School-Based Health Alliance Resources


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Social Risk Coding and Documentation
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Other Resources

Coordinating Care around the Social Determinants of Health  
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Want further assistance implementing and improving Social Determinants of Health in your SBHC?

Our consulting team brings decades of combined experience in planning, implementing, operating, evaluating, and improving community-provided school-based health care, including school-based health centers (SBHCs). Learn more about consulting services here.