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Social Determinants of Health

At Boston Medical Center, our goal is not only to treat disease, but to question and address why it persists. 

Keeping people healthy is no longer just about treating acute and chronic disease over and over — a model in which costs rise and resources aren’t used efficiently. Research has estimated that individuals’ overall health is shaped more by social and environmental factors than it is by the quality of their healthcare. We know that for many, medical issues exist because of a lack of employment, income, stable housing, food, or education. 

Collectively, these factors, called social determinants, can protect from or contribute to chronic disease and mental health issues, among other problems in care delivery and access. 

Healthcare providers must address social determinants of health on both a systemic and individualized scale. Health comes when we remove the structural barriers our patients face, improve access to employment, food, and stable housing, and economically stimulate neighborhoods to transform where our patients live and work into sustainable, vibrant communities that allow for better opportunity.

To help build better, lasting health for patients and communities, Boston Medical Center is dedicated to addressing the root causes of poor health so that everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

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