Blog Post on social determinants of health

Posted by on April 27, 2009

In a commentary for The Huffington Post April 23, Jim Marks, senior vice president and director of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Group, considers health reform, discusses the Commission’s recent recommendations, and urges looking beyond coverage, cost and access to care to why we aren’t healthier in the first

“Why Your Zip Code May Be More Important to Your Health Than Your Genetic Code”

How you see a problem drives how you create the solution.

We are not a healthy country. And while health reform focuses on coverage, cost, access and care, this is simply triage to a system that fails to ask the question “Why aren’t we healthier in the first place?” Our health reform debate is focusing on where health ends (with medical care) and not on where our health
begins (where we live, learn, work and play).

This month, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America released a report ( about all of those other things. This report comes out of a bi-partisan commission created to look at the factors that affect Americans’ health in our homes, our work environments, and our communities. In wonky terms, we call these factors “social determinants of health.” In plain English, the Commission’s purpose was to look for ways beyond medical care that could improve our health.

Continue reading Dr. Marks’ full post here:

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