There is agreement among public health and medical practitioners that the chronic disease epidemic will affect many facets of American life. Local health departments (LHDs) need to re-invent themselves in order to become organizations capable of influencing policies and practices in sectors ranging from transportation to food marketing. In addition, LHDs need new strategies and tactics to move the social determinants of health agenda forward in several arenas. A challenging fiscal environment and the increasingly polarized political climate make organizational change of this magnitude a tall order.
The Review of Social Determinants of Health for Public Health Departments is an important contribution to the development of a strong foundation to support the work of public health practitioners and university-based epidemiologists as the discipline begins to probe the influence of race/ethnicity, income, education, and immigration status on health outcomes, particularly chronic disease.
The report was prepared by David Rehkopf, Stanford University School of Medicine and Nancy Adler, University of California, San Francisco. S