Tools for Putting Social Determinants of Health into Action

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Looking at SDOH data can help practitioners better recognize the root causes that affect population health. Moving from data to action, however, can be challenging. The following CDC tools and resources can help practitioners take action to address SDOH:

  • At-a-Glance: 10 Essential Public Health Services and How they Can Include Addressing Social Determinants of Health Inequitiespdf icon
    • This brief document is intended to help public health agencies embed SDOH efforts as part of their portfolio in protecting the health of communities that they serve.  This simple 2-column table helps illustrate the relationship between addressing SDOH inequities and the 10 essential public health services. Through broader awareness of how these 10 key public health practices can better incorporate consideration of SDOH, public health practitioners can transform and strengthen their capacity to advance health equity. This document includes links to relevant examples of SDOH resources and tools.
  • Best Practices User Guide: Health Equity in Tobacco Prevention and Control
    • This user guide focuses on how comprehensive tobacco control programs can work to achieve health equity in tobacco prevention and control. It offers tobacco-control program staff and partners information on evidence-based strategies, real-world examples, and tobacco-control resources and tools to help achieve health equity when planning, implementing, and enforcing tobacco control policies.
    • The online Community Approaches training course introduces the concept of health equity. The course has six lessons, each of which includes questions or activities that help learners test their knowledge and practice new skills. It includes a post-test to assess learners’ mastery of the material.
  • Comprehensive Cancer Control Plans Search Tool
    • Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) plans identify how an organization or coalition addresses the burden of cancer in its geographic area. The plans are specific to each region and based on data collected about people living in these geographic locations. This search tool provides the ability to search state or jurisdiction-based cancer control plans for specific health equity-related objectives, including social determinants of health.
  • Cultural Competence Assessment Tool for State Asthma Programs and Partners (CCAT)pdf icon
    • CCAT is a practical resource designed to promote and enhance cultural competence among many asthma partner organizations. Based on the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service (CLAS) Standards, the CCAT is a self-assessment tool designed to guide programs in assessing the cultural competence of their own programs. Using a flexible, team-based approach, programs use the CCAT internally with the aim of identifying program strengths and areas for improvement in cultural competence.
  • Data Set Directory of Social Determinants of Health at the Local Levelpdf icon
    • The Data Set Directory contains an extensive list of data sets that include SDOH. The directory includes 12 domains of the social environment (e.g., economy, education, employment), a list of components within each domain (e.g., income, educational attainment, occupational safety), and data sources and variables (e.g., economic segregation, graduation rates, job quality) that can be used to measure the components. Included data sets mostly contain information for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).
  • Electronic Health Records and Patient Work Information
  • Emerging Practices in Diabetes Prevention and Control: Engaging Community Health Workers in Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs pdf icon
    • This report provides an overview of a technical assistance tool that explains key drivers of engaging CHWs in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) programs. It also describes three states that have done significant work in supporting the CHW workforce, including training, certification, and reimbursement initiatives as well as an illustrative example of one state’s efforts towards addressing each of the key drivers of engaging CHWs in DSME. A report on a Community Health Worker Forum explores issues related to developing a statewide infrastructure to promote long-term sustainability and financing of CHWs and provides a job aid to guide for incorporating CHWs into statewide structure (in English and Spanish).
  • Environmental Odors (Impact on Quality of Life)
    • Odors may affect quality of life and sense of well-being and can also affect entire communities. This website provides answers to common questions on odors and health, approaches for addressing odors in your community, information on reporting odors, methods for conducting odor complaint investigations, and ways for community members and other groups to be involved in odor management decisions.
  • EXHALE Technical Package to Control Asthma pdf icon
    • This package represents a group of strategies which, based on the best available evidence, can improve asthma control and reduce health care costs. It is intended as a resource to inform decision making in communities, organizations, and states. Multiple strategies in EXHALE can improve conditions in the places where people live, work, learn, play, and spend time. For example, reducing asthma triggers (e.g., through home visits or environmental policies or best practices) can improve conditions in homes, schools, workplaces, and other settings. Linkages and care coordination include connecting people with asthma to local support services that can improve housing conditions.
  • The Guide to Community Preventive Services external icon
    • The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF). The CPSTF conducts systematic reviews of intervention approaches across a wide range of public health topics, including health equity. Their most recent health equity reviewsexternal icon address the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of educational and housing interventions to reduce health inequities affecting racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations.
  • Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities
    • The Health Equity Resource toolkit helps state health departments and partners work with communities to reduce obesity in populations experiencing health disparities. It helps the user learn how changes in policy, health systems, and environment can reduce obesity disparities and achieve health equity. The toolkit’s six-step process shows how to plan, implement, and evaluate a program. It also describes the Social Ecological Model, a useful conceptual framework.
  • Injury Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
    • Native communities work with the support of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control to prevent injuries, the leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives between the ages of 1 and 54. Each tribal community in Indian country is unique with its own set of traditions, languages, spiritual practices, connections to elders, and social ties.
  • Practical Strategies for Culturally Competent Evaluationpdf icon
    • This guide and accompanying tip sheet highlight opportunities for integrating cultural competence throughout the six steps of the CDC evaluation process.
  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Advancing Health Equitypdf icon
    • The Practitioner’s Guide to Advancing Health Equity can help public health practitioners reduce disparities in chronic diseases. It provides a collection of health equity considerations for policy, systems, and environmental improvement strategies focused on tobacco-free living, healthy food and beverages, and active living.
  • The Prevention Status Reports (PSRs)
    • The PSRs are a performance measurement system for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, that highlightthe status of policies and practices designed to address important public health problems and concerns. They are:  Alcohol-Related Harms; Food Safety; Healthcare-Associated Infections; Heart Disease and Stroke; HIV; Motor Vehicle Injuries; Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity; Prescription Drug Overdose; Teen Pregnancy; and Tobacco Use.The PSRs examine the extent to which states are using evidence-based policies and practices, including social/structural determinants of health, to address our nation’s most pressing health concerns. A key benefit of the PSRs is that they take widely dispersed—and often hard-to-understand—information about state policies and practices and organize it into a simple, easy-to-use format. The PSRs can be used to assess a state’s status and identify areas for improvement.
  • Promoting Health Equity: A Resource to Help Communities Address Social Determinants of Healthpdf icon
    • The Promoting Health Equity workbook provides tools to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that target SDOH.
  • Public Health Reports: Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice external icon
    • This special issue of Public Health Reports  illustrates how public health professionals can address SDOH through activities that promote health equity among populations disproportionately affected by infectious and chronic diseases.
  • Public Health Reports: Data Systems and Social Determinants of Healthexternal icon
    • This special issue of Public Health Reports  focuses on how data can increase our understanding of SDOH. These articles describe ways to link national- and state-level surveillance data with data on labor, housing, and policy. Also, experts share their views on gender equity as a social determinant, use of public health law research to address SDOH, and psychosocial factors affecting health.
  • Public Health Reports: Social Determinants of Healthexternal icon (focus on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STIs, and TB)
    • This special issue of Public Health Reports  applies a SDOH framework to the interrelated epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis in the United States and globally.
  • School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
    • The School Health Guidelines provide a foundation for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices. Each of the nine guidelines is accompanied by a set of strategies developed to help schools reach their goals.
  • Soil Screening, Health, Outreach and Partnership (soilSHOP)
    • The soilSHOPs toolkit helps people learn if their soil is contaminated with lead, and how to reduce exposures to contaminated soil and produce. This toolkit helps communities and other groups plan their own soilSHOP events.
  • The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes external icon
    • This Call to Action  describes how people can protect themselves from disease, disability, and injury that may result from health hazards in their homes. Included are practical steps toward a society-wide, comprehensive, and coordinated approach that can create safe, healthy, affordable, and accessible homes for everyone.
  • Technical Packages for Violence Prevention
    • These technical packages help states, and communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent violence. Approaches require multi-level, multi-sector engagement to prevent violence. Each package is intended as a resource to guide and inform prevention decision-making in communities and states. The strategies and approaches in the technical package represent different levels of the social ecology with efforts intended to impact individual behaviors as well as the relationship, family, school, community, and societal factors that influence risk and protective factors for violence. Infographics for the violence technical packages provide a visual representation of what is in the technical packages.

For questions or additional information, email sdoh@cdc.gov.

Page last reviewed: October 14, 2021