Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health

Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are an essential part of an individual's overall health. Without addressing Social Determinants Of Health (SDOH), we miss the opportunity to help individuals achieve their best health. Read below to learn more about SDOH and find out what we can do to address SDOH with the families we serve. There are links to local resource guides at the bottom of this newsletter.

What are Social Determinants of Health?

SDOH include the parts of our lives that impact our health- which is pretty much everything! They include, among many others:

  • the impacts of racism and discrimination
  • where we live
  • whether or not we have health insurance
  • what type of work we do
  • our education
  • our ability to get healthy foods
  • the quality of our environment, air and water
  • access to transportation.

Many SDOH are greatly impacted by institutional discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, language, and income. Healthy People 2030 has five overarching goals, one of which is to “Create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.” We share this goal here at MCAH.

What Can We Do to Help Address Social Determinants of Health?

Ask Questions and Listen! Ask the families you work with about barriers to health. Do they have spaces where they feel included and respected? Are they having trouble with transportation?  Are they able to get enough food for their family? Do they understand the information that is being provided to them, or do they need it provided in a different language or manner? Do they feel safe? Are they able to access outdoor spaces for recreation with their families? Are they having trouble at work?

Sonoma County has many Community Based Organizations that can help address Social Determinants of Health and link them to needed resources and assistance- visit the following websites for lists of resources:

First 5 Parent Resource Guide

Partnership Health Plan Resource Guide

Sonoma County MCAH Website

211 Sonoma County

For further information about SDOH:

Check out: Let's Get Healthy California

National Institutes of Health- Office of Research on Women's Health

See a video on Social Determinants of Health Here

SDOH Infographic from: Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved [date graphic was accessed], from

Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health | Website

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