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Navigating the Social Determinants of Care: The Importance of Community Support

Introduction to Determinants of Health From Lack of Community Support

In the fourth part of our series on the social determinants of care, we discussed the barriers that come from patients lacking access to affordable and quality healthcare. In this fifth part of our series, we discuss the challenges of lacking access to community support or positive relationships that can help them manage their treatments. We also discuss the ways that providers can connect patients with the support they need to adhere to their treatment plans

Background in Community Support

Community resources benefit patients who cannot access food, shelter, healthcare, and even support. Furthermore, more and more patients are accessing community health centers than before [1]. These community health centers often provide patients with care and social services [1]. Furthermore, patients who seek out community health services often are at or under 200% of the federal poverty line [1]. Most often these patients face other disparities such as lacking access to healthcare or even having a different language than English as their first language. Community centers help to overcome some of these barriers and disparities by connecting patients with much-needed resources. 

Importance of Community Support

Community health services are essential for patients who may otherwise lack access to healthcare services. For instance, Community services provide low-cost healthcare and educate patients on the importance of adherence [2]. Additionally, Community services provide food and shelter to patients who need them, which can help them adhere to their treatment plans better. This lessens burdens that often come from not managing conditions or from lacking preventative care options [2]. Furthermore, community resources reduce healthcare costs and allow patients to access care services without being worried financially [2]. Community support also promotes access to preventative care, screenings, and vaccinations. This also contributes to lower healthcare costs in the future. Overall, these resources help address socioeconomic disparities impacting patients’ healthcare access. 

community support

Additionally, community services also promote access to support groups, especially for patients who may not have one. For instance, many chronic health conditions require ongoing management and support. However, not all patients may have access to support, which may cause them to feel isolated. Community programs often offer counseling and support groups for various diseases, which can help patients accept their diagnoses and learn how to live with their conditions. Furthermore, community services often provide counseling services and peer networks which provide additional coping mechanisms. These resources help patients overcome increased isolation and stress. Furthermore, community services can act as an advocate, especially for those who are unsure how to advocate for themselves. For instance, health education and literacy initiatives help patients make more confident and informed decisions, as well as prevent delays in care. Overall, connecting patients with the support they need is crucial to managing their conditions.

Supporting Patients Who Lack Access to Community Resources and Peer Support

Healthcare providers play a crucial role in supporting and connecting patients with community services. For instance, one of the most important things they can do is to screen patients for social determinants of health. This can help them identify patients who need additional support. Furthermore, providers should educate patients about available community services and refer them to the appropriate services. This can range from food assistance programs, to local support groups, and even to transportation services. Furthermore, providers should coordinate care with community organizations through partnerships so that patients have seamless access to their health information, By simplifying the care process, patients will be more likely to access the care they need. Moreover, providers can use telehealth to promote community-based programs. For instance, virtual support groups, teletherapy sessions, and educational videos can be provided to patients. Overall, healthcare professionals should play a proactive role in supporting patients and connecting them with community services. This collaborative approach promotes well-being and overcomes social determinants of health. 


HITS provides healthcare management services & works with doctors to develop health informatics tools that promote safe and secure care. We take pride in our services and settle for nothing other than 100% quality solutions for our clients. Having the right team assist with data sharing is crucial to encouraging collaborative and secure care. HITS also focuses on transforming health care by analyzing integrated medical solutions and evaluating information systems. Our goal is to enhance individual and population health outcomes, improve patient care, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship.


  1. https://apnews.com/article/community-health-center-safety-net-inequity-09fff31375bac532ac584ab91e94cafc
  2. https://clovisfamilyhealthcare.com/uncategorized/importance-of-community-healthcare-iniatives/#:~:text=Community%20health%20initiatives%20play%20an,screenings%2C%20and%20preventive%20care%20services.
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