Key Points

· Research over the past two decades repeatedly demonstrates the relationship between poor health outcomes and socioeconomic factors such as poor housing, poverty, racism, and structural inequity.

· In 2005, the Northwest Health Foundation, supported by the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund, began an initiative to address these social determinants of health (SDOH).

· A variety of projects – short- and long-term, large and small – were supported over the five-year period for a total of $12.4 million. The mean project-implementation grant was $175,350 and 2½ years in length; capacity-building grants averaged $50,000 for 1½ years.

· In all, 323 social-determinant accomplishments were identified. The most-often identified accomplishments were improvements in neighborhood living conditions; health promotion, disease and injury prevention; and civic engagement and social cohesion.

· The broad, inclusive qualities of the SDOH framework allowed the fund to reach multiple sectors and establish new partners and relationships, but the lack of depth may limit opportunities to make a profound and measurable difference within any specific domain.

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