Just Economy Conference – May 14, 2021
Historical disinvestment in social determinants of health have prevented low-income communities from having fair opportunities for economic, physical and emotional health. The CDC has identified key factors that contribute to increased health risk, including toxic stress from discrimination; inequitable access to healthcare and utilization; occupational hazards of being an essential worker; educational, income and wealth gaps; and inequities in housing.
That is why health systems are addressing issues that have not traditionally been considered medically relevant, like housing, early childhood education and access to healthy foods. They are doing so in partnership with CDFIs, the financial ecosystem dedicated to serving low-income communities. While this is a significant improvement in recognizing the interconnectedness of community health and community finance, many systemic challenges remain.
In this session, we discuss how health systems and CDFIs are natural partners in addressing social determinants of health. We will interrogate the systemic bias that has characterized both mainstream finance and healthcare, and provide examples of efforts to build the broader ecosystem beyond discrete projects to improve community health.