Addressing the Social Determinants of Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ensuring Equity, Quality, and Sustainability

Fam Community Health. 2021 Apr-Jun;44(2):78-80. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000290.


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of social determinants of health in affecting health outcomes. Populations with high social risk are disproportionately impacted by the virus and its economic consequences. Primary care practices have a unique opportunity to implement interventions to mitigate their patients' unmet social needs, such as food and income insecurity. In this commentary, we outline key considerations for clinics implementing programs that identify and address patients' social needs in a way that promotes equity, quality, and sustainability. We provide examples from our own experience at a federally qualified health center.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health Equity*
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment
  • Pandemics
  • Poverty
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Determinants of Health*
  • Social Welfare*