Social Determinants of Health
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SDOH Innovation Hub Frequently Asked Questions

What are social determinants of health (SDOH)?

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the factors that influence everyone in the places where they live, learn, work and play. They include things like access to healthy food, employment, transportation, education, green spaces, a safe and clean environment, and safe housing.


How does the SDOH Hub connect with The Center for Health Affairs’ work and history? 

For more than 100 years, The Center for Health Affairs has brought together hospitals and other partners to solve problems, serve the community, and positively impact medical, social and economic health. Community health as well as data collection and reporting are two areas of focus for our work, which is where the SDOH Innovation Hub is grounded.


Who is Amazon Web Services and how are they involved?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon’s cloud computing business. Since 2006, AWS has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud computing offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and more. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. The Center is building a platform on AWS that will enable the rapid analysis of heterogenous data from hundreds of local partner organizations using AWS’s compute, storage, machine learning, and other services to determine patterns and indicators that will better inform health action and policies. The platform will analyze data that AWS does not have access to or control.


What are the key focus areas for the SDOH Hub?

The SDOH Hub is finding solutions for people experiencing violence, behavioral health issues, homelessness, food insecurity, lack of medical care, joblessness, lack of education or job training, inability to use the internet, and other SDOH-related disparities. Once the SDOH needs are clearly captured, the SDOH Hub data insights will formulate solutions — both short- and long-term.


Who are the partners involved with the SDOH Hub?

The Center is connecting with private, public, and governmental organizations to serve on the SDOH Advisory Council and its work groups. These work groups are using data-driven insights to propose programmatic and policy-oriented solutions related to gun violence, behavioral health, homelessness, food insecurity, and other SDOH issues. The Advisory Council and the work groups are co-chaired by members of the community.


How will this work eliminate disparities experienced by people in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio?

Addressing SDOH-driven disparities is complex. Solutions will require ideas, resources, and supports from all levels of government—city, county, state, and federal—as well as private organizations. Furthermore, it will take time to eliminate these complex issues. No solution will immediately solve an issue and more than one solution will be required.


How will this work help Clevelanders as a whole?

Structural racism leads to poverty; and this hurts everyone in Cleveland. No one lives independently of each other. When one person suffers from a disparity, the impacts ripple through the community. Because we are all connected, addressing these areas of need will benefit all residents of Cleveland.