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08/10/2021

TFAH's Adam Lustig Discusses Social Determinants of Health Policy Opportunities (August 9th)

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As listeners are likely aware the Biden administration has given priority to addressing health equity, meaning distributing health-related resources based on recipients’ needs.   This is not surprising since, in part, research published in JAMA in June 2019 by Zimmerman and Anderson concluded, "there has been a clear lack of progress in health equity during the past 25 years in the US."  (Think: the failure of neoliberalism.)  When discussing health equity, the issue of social determinants of  health (SDOH) are immediately begged since one’s social or lived environment is substantially more responsible than medical care in explaining one's health status and because the poor and/or minority population’s social and economic circumstances are comparatively far worse.  This explains why, as Trust for America's Health (TFAH) recent report titled, "Leveraging Evidence-Based Policies to Improve Health, Control Costs, and Create Health Equity," notes, race and ethnicity-based health disparities total over $90b annually in excess medical costs.  Listeners of this podcast are aware I’ve discussed the social determinants of health on several occasions over the past nine years.  For example, this past March I discussed the topic with UCSF’s Drs. Braveman and Gottlieb.  

During this 32 minute interview Mr. Lustig moreover discusses several of the policies outlined in TFAH's "Leveraging Evidenced-Based Policies" under five categories identified in the report:  access to high-quality health services; economic mobility; access to affordable housing; improving learning environments; and, health-promoting taxes.   

Mr. Adam Lustig is Senior Policy Development Manager at TFAH. H is responsibilities include leading TFAH’s Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS) project.  The Download PHACCS project seeks to promote the adoption and implementation of effective, evidence-based state public health policies outside the healthcare sector that will have a positive impact on residents’ well-being.  Prior to joining TFAH, Mr. Lustig was the Senior Manager of Health Systems Transformation at the National Network of Public Health Institutes, where he developed strategies related to improving healthcare systems, alternative payment models, and supporting people-centered health systems.  Mr. Lustig has also held positions at the Advisory Board Company, the National Pharmaceutical Council and the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his MS in Health Policy from the Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health and a BA in Public Policy from the State University of New York at Albany.

TFAH's report is at: https://www.tfah.org/report-details/leveraging-evidence-based-policies/.

Regarding economic mobility, listeners are encouraged to read the recent July 22 NEJM Perspective essay by Lucy Marcil, et al., titled, "Medical-Financial Partnerships - Beyond Traditional Boundaries."

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