The social determinants of health dashboards capture a range of conditions that affect the health of Washington State residents.
The social determinants of health and demographic dashboards are divided into three geographic levels: County, Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs)* and Census Tracts**. The social determinants of health dashboards have the following measures:
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What is Meant by Social Determinants of Health?
Social determinants of health are economic and social conditions – based on where people are born, live, learn, work, and play – that affect a person's health status. These external and interdependent factors help explain why some people experience worse health outcomes than others.
According to Healthy People 2020, some of the social determinants of health are poverty, housing instability, transportation options, language/literacy, employment status and health insurance access. Other societal factors such as racism (including structural and institutional) and other forms of oppression also impact the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities as a whole, particularly those of color and other marginalized groups (such as differently abled, LGBTQ, Tribal Nations, etc.)
The Washington State Health Assessment of 2018 includes data and information on social determinants of health for our state, such as housing and healthcare access. The Department knows that improving the social determinants of health can help improve health overall over time. This work involves collaborating with stakeholders and partners from across the state and using a “health in all policies” approach and leading with equity in decision-making and resource allocation, capitalizing on work that has already been done to help remedy some of these issues.
*Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs) are collections of regional organizations/agencies across the state whose goal is to improve the health and health equity of their communities. The ACHs are working to achieve this goal by creating, supporting and collaborating on local health improvement plans, supporting local and statewide initiatives such as Medicaid Transformation, practice transformation and value-based purchasing, and aligning resources and activities that improve whole-person health and wellness. There are nine ACHs in Washington State.
**Census Tracts are areas designated for taking the United States Census. In Washington State there are 1458 census tracts.