SDH Call for Innovations Initiative Information

The Department of Health recently launched a first of its kind initiative to identify innovative solutions that can effectively address social determinants of health (SDH) for Medicaid members across New York State. The ´Call for SDH Innovations´ solicited creative ways to improve outcomes through SDH from community–based organizations, healthcare providers and plans, and private sector technology firms.

The response has been tremendous and after an internal review of over 200 applications from across the country, the Department of Health narrowed the innovations to the most creative, compelling, and original solutions.

On September 26, 2018 at the New York Academy of Medicine, Call for SDH Innovations finalists will have an opportunity to present their ideas at a SDH Innovation Summit, hosted by the Department of Health. While applicants will not receive funding or monetary awards, it is an opportunity for organizations to share best practices in the field. Audience members are invited to watch the top finalists present their innovations, and will hear a lively discussion between our distinguished panelists and the finalists on how we can improve population health by addressing SDH.

The SDH Innovations Summit will be held on September 26, 2018 at the New York Academy of Medicine (1216 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10029) from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Innovations will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Potential Return on Investment
  2. Scalability
  3. Feasibility
  4. Evidence–based support for innovation
  5. Relevance to the Medicaid Population
  6. Speed to market (how quickly could the strategy be launched)

Selected innovations will be announced in August 2018. Organizations selected will have an opportunity to present their innovative ideas at the Social Determinants of Health Innovations Summit to be scheduled by DOH in the fall of 2018. Leaders from health care systems, community-based organizations, managed care plans, value-based payment contractors, and health care technology experts will be invited to attend.


The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) are defined as the structural conditions in which people are born, live, grow, work, and age. Addressing social determinants can have a significant impact on health outcomes. SDH interventions can be less costly than medical interventions.

The five categories of social determinants of health are the following:

  1. Education
    • Early childhood education and development
    • High school education
    • Enrollment in higher education
    • Language and literacy
  2. Social and Community Context
    • Social cohesion
    • Civic participation
    • Perceptions of discrimination and equity
    • Incarceration/Institutionalization
  3. Health and Healthcare
    • Access to healthcare, entering the health system
    • Access to primary care/trusted provider
    • Health literacy
  4. Neighborhood and Environment
    • Affordable/Quality Housing
    • Environmental Conditions
    • Access to healthy foods
    • Crime and violence
  5. Economic Stability
    • Poverty
    • Housing security and stability
    • Employment
    • Food security
    • Transportation