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Investing in Resources for Drivers of Health

By Ryan Lowery, MD | Texas

I think locally, physicians are innovators, and one of the things I’m trying to learn in my research is how physicians are addressing drivers of health and health-related social needs at a local level.

A couple of the themes that I’ve come across with in this work is that this work needs to be done, and physicians know this work needs to be done. This work is essential in order to address patient needs and health outcomes. Probably most importantly, the people who are doing this work need to supported, and there needs to be investment made in the structures around this work.

For example, there is a lot of innovation going on in different parts of the country around screening for drivers of health. I was able to speak with a physician in the midwest who is having families follow up with AmeriCorps volunteers in order to get access to food and improve food security. I was able to talk with a physician working in the south who works directly with community health workers in their clinic in order to meet patients’ needs around transportation, housing and utilities, to name a few.

I think these examples show that physicians want this work done. They are willing to make the innovations, but in order for these innovations to be sustainable and successful in other parts of the country, we need to commit to making an investment in drivers of health and screening for social needs. Thank you.

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