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Dear Colleague Letter: Applying Social Determinants Public Health Report Supplement

Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice - Public Health Reports Supplement

October 23, 2013

Dear Colleague:

I am pleased to announce the publication of a special Public Health Reports (PHR) supplement entitled Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice. It focuses on a comprehensive public health approach that considers social determinants of health (SDH) to address health inequities and improve health outcomes. The articles featured in the supplement provide perspective on the application of SDH, and describe experiences integrating and implementing SDH into public health programs and research.

My colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Drs. Hazel D. Dean and Kim M. Williams are guest editors for this special supplement along with Dr. Kevin Fenton, formerly of CDC and now of Public Health England. Along with their guest editorial, Drs. Dean and Fenton give an overview on the progress made incorporating SDH approaches into CDC’s HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB prevention programs in Integrating a Social Determinants of Health Practice: A Five Year Perspective of Actions Implemented by CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).

I also want to draw your attention to an article by researchers from the World Health Organization. Writing for this PHR supplement, Drs. Sadana and Blas examine What Can Public Health Programs Do to Improve Health Equity? The Practice section of the supplement includes several articles describing programs and partnerships that focus on SDH; for example, the piece on Addressing the Social Determinant of Health through the Alameda County, California, Place Matters Policy Initiative is a case study on community engagement to address SDH. The supplement’s Research section features articles from Atlanta, Baltimore and Maryland.

The publication of this peer-reviewed supplement is one of the SDH activities and commitments of NCHHSTP. It is the third and final supplement in a series of Public Health Reports Supplements on SDH published by the National Center. The previous PHR supplements included Addressing Social Determinants of Health in the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections and Tuberculosis and Data Systems and Social Determinants of Health.

Thank you for your continued work in the prevention and control of viral hepatitis, STDs, TB and HIV. I hope the articles presented in the supplement inspire your public health efforts.


/Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., M.P.H.
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention