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Close the Health Gap

Millions of Americans do not have adequate access to health care. The Grand Challenge to Close the

Health Gap is working to redress the fundamental failure of our current, individualist model and its

inability to address historical inequities in access to health care around race, ethnicity, gender, age,

disability status, geography, sexual and gender identity, and socioeconomic status. Instead, this Grand

Challenge calls for a new approach that emphasizes the centrality of the social determinants of health

towards resolving these injustices.

During the past five years, network members and others have worked to Close the Health Gap through

their research, advocacy, and teaching. They have organized three working groups and published and

presented widely. They have articulated policy recommendations for state and federal legislators. And,

they have expanded the network of Indigenous health researchers through new training programs.

INTEGRATING SOCIAL CARE INTO THE DELIVERY OF HEALTH CARE:

MOVING UPSTREAM TO IMPROVE THE NATION'S HEALTH

Several individuals and universities involved with the Grand Challenges

participated in the development of the 2019 consensus study from the

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, "Integrating

Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve

the Nation's Health."

The report contains five overarching goals and associated recommendations

that health care systems, government agencies, and others should

implement to better integrate patients' social needs into health care delivery

and to improve health equity - especially critical in the context of the

COVID -19 pandemic.

The report recommends the following steps:

• Better integrate social care into health care delivery.

• Support and train an engaged, integrated care workforce.

• Develop an infrastructure for data sharing between health

and social care.

• Finance the integration of health care and social care.

Learn more at nationalacademies.org/SocialCare

12 | Progress and Plans for the Grand Challenges

Index

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