This event has passed

Date and Location

November 15, 2021
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM ET


HKS events calendar icon

Programs to address social determinants of health (SDOH) like unstable housing and food insecurity hold great promise to improve health.  Over the past few years, many health plans and provider organizations have developed partnerships with community-based organizations to identify individuals with health-related social needs and connect them to resources that address their needs.  Emerging research demonstrates that some programs drive better health, lower inappropriate health care utilization, and reduce total medical expenses.  For example, providing healthy, plentiful food to people with diabetes may help prevent complications that result in blindness or amputations.  Providing air conditioners to asthmatic children may reduce flare-ups and emergency room visits.
However, SDOH programs face many challenges to “closing the loop” – making sure that individuals with health-related social needs receive the appropriate social resources.  For example, individuals may be reluctant to disclose their needs or accept help.  Cross-sector collaboration and data sharing between health care and community-based organizations is difficult.  Affordable housing is scarce.  Signing up for SNAP is cumbersome.
This study group will outline a model to design and assess SDOH programs that acknowledges and helps overcome these challenges.  A case study of a program with strong results will illustrate the model in practice.  

  • Alexandra Schweitzer, Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Katherine Keir, Hawaii State Director | UnitedHealthcare Community & State

Zoom webinar. Register here:

Speakers and Presenters

​Alexandra Schweitzer; Katherine Keir