Video Blog

Social Determinants of Health: Upstream and Downstream Impact

By addressing both community and individual impact, we are most likely to see near-term progress and impact at the individual level while working towards long-term sustainable solutions within our communities.

Over the past few weeks, the Springbuk team has been talking a lot about social determinants of health.

In our last video, we spoke on the five overarching themes related to our communities and the challenges employers face while trying to address them. As we think about how employers can have a more direct impact on social determinants, we use a stream or river analogy, with the upstream being our community-level initiatives.

As we move downstream, we focus more on employer-level initiatives that are tailored to the individual and social needs of employees and their families.

At this downstream or midstream level, we have much more opportunity for employers to gain traction and impact their member populations. Similar to the five themes of community initiatives, we focus on five key levers that employers can influence, including:

  1. Income: such as hourly rates, salary, and retirement contributions
  2. Childcare: such as access to affordable childcare and eldercare  
  3. Access to Healthcare: health equity and affordable health care coverage 
  4. Housing Instability and Transportation: access to affordable housing, safe housing, and reliable transportation
  5. Food Access and Insecurity: access to healthy foods, food insecurity, and food swamps

By addressing these levers, employers are poised to directly impact their employees’ lives and the 50+ percent of the factors impacting overall health and health equity

In our next video blog, we'll discuss six data informing strategies using social determinants that Springbuk is evaluating. And if you're interested in learning more about social determinants of health or Springbuk's perspective, be sure to download the e-book we've linked below:

E-book: Social Determinants of Health - A Springbuk Perspective

Jennifer Jones, MSM RD, Enterprise Market Leader
Jennifer Jones, MSM, RD, is an experienced healthcare professional with a background in clinical dietetics, wellness programming, and employer health, and is a certified Corporate Wellness Specialist.

With over 20 years of experience, she has worked in various settings including health care systems, occupational health organizations, and a health and welfare benefits advisory firm. After working directly with patients and employees, Jennifer turned her focus to population and employer health to achieve a greater impact on health outcomes.