RISE’s Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Community held its first Across the Ecosystem User Group meeting last week, led by Jessica Kahn, senior expert, McKinsey & Company, and Denise Harlow, CEO, National Community Action Partnership. The user group connects cross-sectional stakeholders (payers, providers, community-based organizations, government, and funders) to discuss actionable and scalable solutions to SDoH challenges and drive social good. Here are key takeaways from the initial discussion on executive orders from the new administration and the interactive McKinsey & Company dashboard.

Biden’s executive orders to address food insecurity, racial equity

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on January 22 to address hunger across the United States as 29 million adults and as many as 12 million children struggle with food insecurity. Amid the pandemic, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment has increased throughout the country and food banks report participation levels they’ve never seen before, said Kahn, noting many people are turning to food banks for the first time in their lives. Biden’s executive order will increase access to nutritious food for children who have missed meals due to school closures, allow larger emergency SNAP allotments for the lowest-income households, and update food assistance benefits to reflect the true cost of a basic healthy diet.

A second executive order aims to advance racial equity and support underserved communities. The order, which Biden signed on his first day in office, underscores an expectation from the new administration that every agency and program conduct a review of services to identify ways in which they can improve, said Kahn. Agencies that don’t currently use key performance indicators in racial inequities will be asked to develop them, she explained. Harlow echoed the need to ensure agencies can aggregate data by race to track any gaps or inequities.

McKinsey & Company dashboard identifies geographic hotspots most vulnerable to COVID-19

The public sourced dashboard looks at populations with physical or behavioral health vulnerabilities, a great resource to better understand the populations likely to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, noted Kahn.

McKinsey’s Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare (McKinsey) created the dashboard, in partnership with their Healthcare Innovation Domain and Medicaid and State Health and Human Services Domain, to equip stakeholders with data to better support vulnerable populations, which they define as individuals who are over the age of 60, have serious underlying physical health conditions, have long-term care needs, or have unmet social needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic can affect vulnerable populations in three ways, according to McKinsey:

  • Increase the risk of contracting and developing severe COVID-19 symptoms
  • Reduce access to treatment and services
  • Increase social and economic hardships

The open-access dashboard provides data at the county and state level on a multitude of metrics, including but not limited to:

  • COVID-19 related data (such as number of deaths and cases)
  • Age
  • Chronic conditions
  • Behavioral health issues
  • Long-term services and supports
  • Health care supply
  • Economy and jobs
  • Housing and household composition
  • Community
  • Food security
  • Race and ethnicity

Join the next User Group meeting

RISE Community user groups are scheduled throughout the year. Meetings for the SDoH CBO/Non-profit User Group will take place at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 3. The SDoH Health Care Provider User Group will meet at 1 p.m. EST., Tuesday, March 9. If you would like to participate in a user group, contact RISE Marketing Coordinator Tracy Anderson at membership@risehealth.org.