Wednesday’s national conference on hunger, nutrition and health is the Biden administration’s first step towards meeting its ambitious goal of ending food insecurity and diet-related diseases by 2030. It is the first such conference convened by the White House since 1969, and the inceptive summit led to the implementation of the food assistance programs that continue to underpin our nation’s response to hunger more than five decades later. President Biden has taken a similarly transformative approach to this conference, outlining a new national strategy that aligns the public and private sectors to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce the disparities surrounding them.
When considering the convening of this conference, I am reminded of President Lyndon Johnson and “The Great Society.” The series of legislation, policy initiatives and programs developed in 1964 still constitute the largest social reform plan in modern history and have alleviated hardships for the country’s most vulnerable populations. Great Society programs advanced health equity, championed inclusion and improved affordability for Americans in need.
For this conference to have a lasting impact, it is critical that we use this generational opportunity to galvanize stakeholders. It’s also important that we envision what a new American safety net looks like, one that uses modern approaches and solutions to advance the conference’s agenda.
For the last 12 years, we’ve been committed to modernizing the American safety net and establishing the framework for the next generation of social reform by digitally indexing all available social service programs in the United States and simplifying the way people find and apply for them. The next era of the Great Society and the American safety net requires the private sector and public sector to work collaboratively, forging new partnerships and deepening existing relationships to address the challenges our nation faces today and will face moving forward. Together, we can solve the problems that prevent people from accessing social care resources the moment they need them with dignity and ease.
The Sync for Social Needs Coalition
We’re proud to have been recognized at the White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition for our membership in the Sync for Social Needs coalition. The Sync for Social Needs coalition unites leading health technology companies and health plans, including HL7 International, Rush University System for Health, Tufts Medicine, Riverside Health System, SCAN Health Plan, Sanford Health System, BayCare, Geisinger, and the Veterans Health Administration, to standardize patient data sharing on the social determinants of health.
The coalition focuses on the types of patient data screened for, collected, and integrated to address social determinants of health concerns, such as food security and nutrition. Findhelp joins Epic, Oracle Health, Meditech, and other leading health IT companies in evaluating and piloting the integration of social needs screening tools in electronic medical record systems to further lower clinician burden and improve patient outcomes.
Want to learn more?
Read about the important work of the Sync for Social Needs coalition at https://blog.hl7.org/sync-for-social-needs.