Welcome to the the National Action Agenda to Advance Upstream Social Determinants and Health Equity

Stewards of Change Institute, the Stanford University Center for Population Health Sciences and additional organizational collaborators across the country are creating a National Action Agenda to Advance Upstream Social Determinants and Health Equity. The initiative’s intent is to instigate and implement tangible, systems-level change across Health, Human Services, Education, Public Health, Public Safety and other domains. The need for doing so is vividly illustrated by the racial and socioeconomic disparities being laid bare in our country today.

The Equity Action Agenda encompasses a coordinated set of ambitious activities throughout this year and beyond, all of which are designed to significantly accelerate progress through cross-sector data-sharing, interoperability and collaboration. We strongly believe that doing so will:

  • Enable a more-effective response to health crises such as Covid-19; 
  • Broadly, systemically advance holistic, person-centered care; and
  • Significantly contribute to furthering health equity and social justice.

* Important: Six workgroup teams are helping to shape the National Action Agenda, each focusing on a different Social Determinant: Community & Social Context, Economic Mobility, Education, Health Care & Behavioral Health System, Legal, and Neighborhood & Physical Environment. Each team has its individual workplace on the NAA Group page, which you can get to by clicking the greyed-out team name in the navigation bar. Each workspace is where that team’s members can share and view resources, post questions, work collaboratively, and catch up on the latest news and meeting information as it pertains to their topic area.

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About the SDOH National Action Agenda

Why NOW?

We have initiated the action steps in this unique effort because:

  • A national agenda focused on the Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being (and particularly on “upstream” activities in communities nationwide) is long overdue – and should be a critical component of our country’s post-coronavirus rebuilding activities;
  • The agenda should be shaped and launched before, not after, we get to the other side of the nation’s simultaneous public health, economic and social upheavals;
  • The need to work more explicitly for equity – in health and more broadly – is stark and clear. Interoperability is a critical way to pursue that goal by routinely providing the information needed both to clearly see the impact of racial/socioeconomic disparities and to address them.
  • This is potentially a historic opportunity to make fundamental, generational changes that will help to drive progress in many concrete ways.

Learn more about the action agenda >>

 Upcoming Key Meeting Dates 

September 25 - The National Action Agenda kickoff meeting 

  • All-Workgroup Join Meeting (12:30pm to 2:00pm ET)
  • Individual Workgroup Meetings (2:30pm to 4:30pm ET)

October 16 - Second meeting session for joint and individual workgroups

  • All-Workgroup Join Meeting (12:00pm to 1:30pm ET)
  • Individual Workgroup Meetings (2:00pm to 4:00pm ET)

November 13 - Third meeting session for joint and individual workgroups 

  • All-Workgroup Join Meeting (12:00pm to 1:30pm ET)
  • Individual Workgroup Meetings (2:00pm to 4:00pm ET)

December 11 - Fourth meeting session for joint and individual workgroups 

  • All-Workgroup Join Meeting (12:00pm to 1:30pm ET)
  • Individual Workgroup Meetings (Meeting to be set by each workgroup to finalize work products)
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National Action Agenda!

Recent/Featured Resources

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 Recent/Featured Webinars

View all Past Webinars >>


Leadership Team & Advisors


Core AA members

  • Karen Smith, M.D., M.P.H., (former) Director of California Department of Public Health
  • Pierre-Gerlier Forest, PhD, Professor and Director, James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
  • David H. Rehkopf, ScD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine (Primary Care and Population Health) and, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology); Co-director of the Stanford University Center for Population Health Sciences
  • Lesley Sept, Executive Director of Population Health Sciences, VPHS-Population Health Sciences
  • Daniel Stein, MBA, President, Stewards of Change Institute

Synthesis Advisors

  • David Aylward, JD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Alina Baciu, PhD, MPD, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Sciences
  • Dan Chavez, Executive Director, San Diego Health Connect
  • Christi Dant, State Systems Coordinator, Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • Toby Ewing, Executive Director, CA Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC)
  • Caroline Fichtenberg, Managing Director, Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN), UCSF Center for Health and Community
  • Stacy Shwartz Olagundoye, MS, Program Manager, California Alliance of Child and Family Services, The Catalyst Center
  • Michael Wilkening, Special Advisor or Innovation & Digital Services, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom (CA)


  • Evelyn Gallego, MBA, MPH, CPHIMS, Found & CEO at EMI Advisors, LLC, SIREN/HL7 Gravity Project Program Manager at Health Level Seven International (HL7)
  • Ryan Howells, Principal, Leavitt Partners
  • Nick Macchione, Agency Director and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, San Diego Department of Health and Human Services
  • Kshemendra Paul, Chief Data Officer at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Mission and Strategy Cloud Action Officer & Deputy Director at Department of Homeland Security
  • David Ross, ScD, President & CEO, The Task Force for Global Health Inc., (former) Director of the Public Health Informatics Institute
  • Ken Kaplan, MSW, MARCH/HP, Founding Partner, Health Community Ventures, Inc.


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