For all of us, health and well-being are key factors to living well and having a good quality of life. Where we are born, the quality of our schools, the safety of our communities, the availability of jobs, and the level of stress on ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our colleagues are among the many external factors that impact our health from a young age through adulthood and beyond. Understanding how these social determinants affect our health and well-being, and connecting them to helpful supports along the way, are the key to ensuring that each of us can achieve our full potential.
A growing body of evidence shows that improving care and service coordination across multiple sectors, beyond traditional clinical health care services, together with the human services and public health systems, timely access to critical population-based health information, and leveraging existing public investments more effectively, can produce healthier and dramatically better and more sustainable outcomes for all families and communities. Human service programs and providers already in place are uniquely positioned to provide valuable contributions to improving overall health outcomes if they are effectively linked to, and coordinated with, the traditional and evolving health system.
Over the past several years, APHSA's National Collaborative for Integration of Health and Human Services (National Collaborative) has focused on rethinking how state and local health and human service (H/HS) agencies operate, developing tools to help them reconfigure access, and improve the customer experience, within the context of the evolving health care delivery system. The Triple Aim and Affordable Care Act continue to be significant drivers of this transformation. The field at-large, defined here by all human-serving programs and networks of care impacting people's health and well-being, continues to reconfigure, test, and modify how services are paid for and delivered. Human service agencies, programs, and providers are also embarking on this journey to rethink how to efficiently and effectively provide existing and new services within this environment.
H/HS agencies at all levels of government and across sectors are building new connections to better ensure programs, data, providers, and funding channels are in place to address the social determinants of health. State and local agencies are making important advancements to improve their operational...