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Rural Local Health Departments Target Social Determinants of Health

A new report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explores how rural local health departments mitigate social determinants of health.

NACCHO surveyed local health departments with three key questions:

  • What are the key components of creating a foundation to address social determinants of health in rural communities?
  • What are the challenges and facilitators of engaging in social determinants of health work in rural communities?
  • What role do local health departments play in designing and implementing a strategy to address social determinants of health?

Five key themes emerged as foundational elements of this work: partnerships; leadership; community engagement; data and evaluation; and community health improvement planning.

The report offers recommendations for local health departments and other stakeholders at each level of the health system to improve approaches for addressing social determinants of health in rural communities.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.

About the Author

Kelcie Jimenez is a former state policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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