Drivers of Health Request for Proposal

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), the Physicians Foundation is seeking medical associations to develop capacity, resources, and data collection to support physicians in their understanding of drivers of health (DOH) and their integration of DOH screening and resource connection into their medical practices, as part of their regular patient care. This is a nonrenewable one-year grant program for up to $75,000 per grant.


Physicians have long experienced the impact of DOH. They recognize that the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age have a major influence on patient health and the cost of health care in America. DOH includes factors like food security, housing stability, transportation access, utilities access, and interpersonal safety.

Physicians know that improving health, reducing the total cost of care, and achieving health equity are only achievable by addressing DOH. Despite the well-documented impact of DOH health outcomes and cost of care, our current health care system does not operate in a way that includes addressing them.

Assessing DOH

How DOH Affect Physicians and Their Patients

The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians found 8 in 10 physicians (80%) believe that the United States cannot improve health outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing DOH. The top five strategies physicians reported important to support them, and other physicians in addressing patients’ DOH are:

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    Investing in community capacity to address patients’ DOH

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    Investing in the technological and human capacity to connect patients with community resources they need to be healthy

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    Screening patients to identify social needs

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    Significantly reducing existing payer reporting requirements and other administrative burdens to provide the necessary time to address DOH

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    Creating financial incentives for physician-directed efforts to address DOH

That is why the Physicians Foundation launched Let’s Take 5 to Address DOH, a campaign to support physicians in addressing their patients’ DOH and started this DOH Grant Program to support physicians to integrate DOH screening into their practices and build the capacity to improve patients’ lives.



The overall purpose of this grant program is to spread awareness and knowledge around best strategies for physicians who care for patients with DOH. Medical associations have a keen sense of what is going on with physicians and their patients in their geographies and bring important knowledge that can customize DOH screening and resource navigation implementation with medical practices, including meeting the unique needs of small practices. Medical associations will also be asked to identify existing lists of community resources for physicians to use for referring their patients with DOH needs.

To identify and provide financial support to the foundations of state and county medical associations who:

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Have the interest in and capacity to engage in the year-long activities of this grant program

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Are in a state/region primed for or at a critical point related to addressing DOH

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Can recruit a group of willing and eager physicians to integrate or enhance DOH screenings and DOH-related resource navigation into their medical practices and provide feedback and data related to that DOH integration process

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Will identify and compile a guide of existing resource lists of social service organizations whose work addresses one or more of the DOH factors

Activities and Outcomes

The broad expectation is that the RFP will support on-the-ground initiatives that empower physicians to optimize integration of DOH into their practices in a way that enhances patient health and increases value. No standard DOH screening tool is required for participation in this grant program. The focus is on enhanced education for associations to help physicians with screening and resource connection–addressing two of the above top five strategies physicians reported are important to support them and other physicians in addressing patients’ DOH. The hope is that information gathered and learned over the course of the grant program can bolster each association’s future policy efforts related to the other top strategies identified, including community capacity, administrative burden, and creating financial incentives.

Offered over the course of one-year, grantees will have the opportunity to participate in Physicians Foundation-sponsored regular virtual grantee cohort check-ins as well as educational sessions.

Subject matter experts will provide an initial DOH-related educational session, open to all participants, followed by several grantee cohort gatherings. These subsequent gatherings will be an opportunity for facilitated check-ins among the medical societies’ staff to provide peer support, share updates, and discuss successes and challenges. In addition, grantees will be encouraged to participate in a virtual community platform where DOH grantees, past and present, can share information and best practices on DOH implementation strategies.

Participating medical associations will be asked to collect insights and monitor practices’ progress throughout the grant period to help inform state and national policy efforts. Participating organizations will be provided support with the above-described activities through regular meetings with other grantees in the cohort to discuss challenges and share strategies and lessons learned.

Proposal Review and Timetable

A proposal should include a description of how your project addresses the purpose described in this RFP, a proposed plan and activities, a budget, and a brief bio-sketch of the key staff members. Requests should be for up to $75,000 for a one-year project period.


The Foundation will select up to five organizations to receive grant support under this RFP.

Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

Field focused

The organization is rooted in physician needs with a clear potential to advance the field and address key challenges around DOH screening and resource navigation.


The Foundation will favor projects that are timely given the practice environment in their geographies, and that will likely serve as a catalyst for future advances around supporting physicians with DOH integration, including meeting the unique needs of small practices.

Strategic impact

The Foundation will consider the state/region’s current landscape as well as the medical association’s commitment to further this work to ensure the grant support will provide the most significant impact from the practice level to the policy level.


The proposal should include details on some or all of the following factors if/when applicable:

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    Past experience supporting physicians with implementing practice-level changes

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    The medical association’s current research, resources, and tools related to DOH

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    The state’s current environment around DOH on both the practice and policy level

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    Organizational capacity to commit time and staff to supporting both a cohort of at least five practices (with a focus on the smaller practice community) and resource list compilation

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Eligibility and How to Apply

To apply for a grant, register and login to the Physicians Foundation’s online application system. Proposals must be completed and submitted with all required responses and attachments to be considered for funding in this grant cycle. Please use the access code “DOH23” to access the application.

Charitable arms of both county and state medical associations are welcome to apply, though state associations will be given priority in the review process because of their broader reach.

For this RFP, the Physicians Foundation is waiving its policy that limits an organization from having only one grant at a time. As such, organizations who have a current active grant with the Physicians Foundation are eligible to apply.

If you have questions regarding the application, please contact the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer, Carolyn Rau at 617-391-3101 or