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Determinants of Health

Inventory of local projects and opportunities for collaboration

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Projects addressing determinants of health are emerging across the Olympic region. There is no standard playbook of how best to improve social conditions in a community.  Olympic Community of Health has taken the first steps in creating an inventory of local projects addressing determinants of health.

 

Purpose

The tools on this page were created to:

  • build situational awareness- who's working on what

  • provide creative examples to inspire future projects and collaboration

  • visually display current outreach and gaps

Image by Ben Eubank
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Image by Ben Eubank

The Olympic Region

The Olympic region spans Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties and includes the seven sovereign nations of the Hoh, Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, Makah, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Quileute, and Suquamish Tribes.

 

Clallam and Jefferson counties comprise the largely rural Olympic Peninsula. Kitsap County is more suburban with several city centers, in addition to the rural outreaches.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to the beautiful Olympic National Park. No through access is available in the National Park, elongating travel times around the region. Access from the Olympic Peninsula to Kitsap County is most commonly and conveniently made via the Hood Canal Floating Bridge, which closes daily due to leisure, commercial, and military marine traffic as well as unfavorable weather conditions. Olympic National Park is over 900,000 acres of old growth forests, glacier-covered mountain peaks, temperate rainforest, and over 70 miles of coastline.

 

SOCIAL NEEDS IN OLYMPIC REGION

In 2020, OCH and Collaborative Consulting surveyed different partners across the Olympic region to better understand the social needs and social conditions that are negatively impacting health.

PRIORITIES FOR ACTION
Partners were asked to describe their vision for the future related to addressing adverse social conditions. What emerged is a picture of using partnerships to enhance existing activity to address immediate needs while simultaneously implementing upstream strategies to address social conditions driving these needs.

This graph displays partner priorities regarding ease, potential impact, and benefit from regional response (circle size). Housing instability and employment were identified as social risk factors that would have both great impact and benefit from a regional response.
 

LOCAL PROJECTS

OCH is compiling an inventory of local projects addressing determinants of health, conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that shape health. The Olympic region includes Kitsap, Clallam and Jefferson Counties and seven Tribal nations. The map below is designed to showcase some of the many local projects addressing determinants of health across the Olympic region. OCH has chosen to start by focusing on the following determinants as they were ranked highest impact by OCH implementation partners: 

  • Financial strain

  • Healthy, affordable food access

  • Housing

  • Transportation

OCH will be updating this as new projects and partnerships arise. This tool is intended to be used as a source of creative inspiration and situational awareness.

 

Please note, the maps below are not a comprehensive inventory of local efforts. If you have any questions about the contents of this tool, please contact OCH@olympicch.org

The map above highlights a variety of projects, approaches, and efforts across the Olympic region. The inventory of projects combined with OCH's research provides an assortment of promising collaborative approaches. Below is a summarized list of community-based approaches to address determinants of health. 

Image by Scott Graham

Financial Strain

  • Internship programs in local non-profit or health care organizations
     

  • Teams helping individuals enroll in government safety net programs (food stamps, WIC, Earned income tax credit)
     

  • Medical legal partnerships to support patients appeal denials for benefits such as food stamps, disability, insurance
     

  • Advocacy for policies that expand unemployment insurance, childcare subsidies, and living wage

Image by ja ma

Healthy, Affordable Food Access

  • Food incentive programs that provide vouchers to purchase healthy foods at local food outlets
     

  • Pop up markets/ food pharmacy at clinical sites
     

  • Healthy corner/convenience store initiatives to increase availability of fresh produce and healthy food options in local food outlets
     

  • Advocacy related to food security (federal nutrition programs)

Cars

Transportation

  • Free or discounted bus, transit, or taxi vouchers
     

  • Partnerships with local community-based organizations that provide transportation
     

  • Dial-a-ride transit and volunteer ridesharing programs

Brick House

Housing

  • Multi-stakeholder collaboratives investing to build affordable housing
     

  • Housing as healthcare providing target populations with permanent housing and support services
     

  • Rehabilitation to improve the safety and quality of existing housing stock (energy audits, building inspections, improved ventilation)
     

  • Advocacy for policies that promote and increase affordable and high-quality housing

 
 

ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Access to healthcare is another determinant of health that is important to address. OCH's implementation partners have taken strides in bridging the gaps to essential health services. OCH partners demonstrate innovation and collaboration in a way that results in meaningful change across the Olympic region. Together, OCH, behavioral health providers, primary care providers, hospitals, Tribes, community-based organizations, and social service agencies aim to continue to tackle health issues no single sector or Tribe can tackle alone.

Scroll through and click on the boxes below to learn about some of the many partner projects address access to healthcare.

LOOKING AT THE DATA

The dashboard below visualizes Medicaid healthcare data across the Olympic region in regards to five different metrics. The data is measured at a zip code level (which is different from the sub regions in the above map of local projects), strengths and gaps from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Barriers that prevent or limit access to health care can increase poor health outcomes and disparities.

  • Uninsured individuals are less likely to receive care

  • Lack of transportation can lead to delayed or skipped medication, missed appointments, and postponed care.

  • Limited availability of services can lead to wait times and delayed care

  • Long drives may entail missing work or coordinating childcare


Data source: Healthier Washington (2020, March 31), Measure Explorer & Trend Dashboard

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION

Specific areas partners want to see enhancements:

  • Expand eligibility and increase flexible funding for existing programs.

  • Enhance referral systems and processes to better connect people to community resources.

  • Increase data sharing and communication between clinical and community partners.

  • Increase mental health and substance use disorder services.

Specific areas partners want to see new strategies implemented:

  • Address the underlying conditions of employment, housing, and education.

  • Increase employment opportunities and establish employment programs.

  • Increase access to and availability of affordable housing.

  • Support community driven efforts to address adverse conditions.

  • Support local capacity and self-sufficiency to respond to community needs.

 
Image by Andrew Spencer
Are you addressing determinants of health in the Olympic region?
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