On September 20, the PAA and Association of Population Centers submitted comments in response to a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the newly formed Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus. The caucus has bipartisan leadership (Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and almost 30 members from the U.S. House of Representatives. It was created “to bring together members of Congress from disparate jurisdictions to highlight the opportunities for coordination across programs, to improve health outcomes, and to maximize existing and future federal investments in health, food, housing, transportation, and other important drivers of health.”

SDOH logo of colorful squares around a  iconized familyThe RFI was comprised of a series of questions regarding the challenges and opportunities that exist for addressing social determinants of health. In its response, PAA and APC urged the Caucus to support increased investments in federally supported research agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and to encourage enhanced data collection through the nation’s statistical agencies, such as the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics. Further, the organizations discussed how Congress can stimulate and strengthen collaborative efforts among scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and community leaders at the local, state, and national levels.

The Caucus will use these comments to inform their agenda and identify legislative priorities. Currently, the Caucus is soliciting ideas for congressional briefings. The PAA/APC Government and Public Affairs Committee will be discussing potential topics to submit.

More information about the Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus is posted here:  Congressional Caucus for Social Determinants of Health (congressionalsdohcaucus.org)

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