Published 9/1/23 By Brenden Watts

In today’s evolving healthcare landscape, addressing health disparities and improving health outcomes require a holistic approach. This approach goes beyond medical treatments and delves into the social determinants of health (SDOH) – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) play a pivotal role in addressing these determinants and fostering healthier communities. In this article, we’ll explore how CBOs fit into Social Determinant of Health Networks and the valuable contributions they make.

many people working together to do a puzzle.

The Essence of Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health encompass a wide range of factors that influence an individual’s well-being. These factors include access to quality healthcare, education, employment opportunities, housing stability, food security, and more. SDOH emphasize that health outcomes are not solely determined by medical interventions but are profoundly affected by the environments in which people live and the resources available to them.

The Role of Social Determinant of Health Networks

SDOH Networks are collaborative efforts that bring together various stakeholders, such as healthcare providers, public health agencies, nonprofits, government entities, and community-based organizations. These networks aim to identify and address social determinants that impact health outcomes in a specific region or community.

Where CBOs Shine

Community-Based Organizations, as the name suggests, are deeply embedded within their communities and have a keen understanding of local needs and challenges. Here’s how CBOs fit into SDOH Networks:

Resource Coordination

CBOs are adept at connecting individuals with the resources they need. Whether it’s assisting with housing applications, providing food assistance, or offering job training programs, CBOs serve as navigators through the often complex web of social services.

Advocacy and Policy Change

CBOs are advocates for policy changes that can positively impact the social determinants of health. They work to bring about systemic changes by engaging with policymakers and community leaders to address issues like housing affordability, education access, and employment opportunities.

Collaborative Initiatives

Collaboration is at the heart of Social Determinant of Health Networks. CBOs work alongside healthcare providers and other stakeholders to develop holistic care plans that address both medical and social needs. This collaboration ensures that individuals receive comprehensive care that improves their overall well-being.

Measuring Impact

Quantifying the impact of CBOs in SDOH Networks is essential. Data-driven assessments help determine the effectiveness of interventions and guide future initiatives. CBOs collect data on the social services they provide using CBO Software and collaborate with healthcare partners to measure improvements in health outcomes.


Community-Based Organizations are integral components of Social Determinant of Health Networks. Their deep community roots, advocacy efforts, and personalized support make them invaluable in addressing social determinants and fostering healthier communities. As we move forward in the pursuit of health equity, recognizing and supporting the critical work of CBOs will continue to be paramount.

In a world where health is not solely defined by medical care but also by the environment in which people live, CBOs stand as beacons of hope, working tirelessly to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life. Their role in Social Determinant of Health Networks is not just important; it’s indispensable.