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SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF THE PUERTO RICAN



Housing instability, food insecurity, transportation problems, interpersonal security and absence of basic utilities are the five main factors that affect a person's well-being. Financial difficulties, employment, family and community support, education, physical activity, substance abuse, disabilities and mental status are other factors that comprise the Social Determinants of Health.


There is no dispute that Puerto Ricans face these social challenges daily, affecting their well-being. There is also no dispute that these social factors are aggravated due to hurricanes, earthquakes, and collapses of the social fabric that cause pandemics. To counteract these effects on the individual, a new look at our collective direction, execution and tenacity is required.


Recently, conversations have been held focused on discussing the Social Determinants of Health and the formation of a platform among community providers called RequiereAyuda.com, to facilitate the coordination of social referrals. Through the conversations, professionals agreed on the importance of collaboration between community organizations and foundations and even with the government; systematic education and communication to achieve social change; credibility and transparency in measuring social impact; public policy and its implementation; and the role of technology in advancing those goals, especially in times of remote connection. We must as a country be able to remedy the gaps that exist in the provision of essential services, and in this way be able to assist government agencies and social assistance organizations.


However, dialogue cannot be static but dynamic. If, on the one hand, we know the social determinants that affect a person, and on the other, the community organization or government program willing to solve them, then we must feel the greatest urgency in providing them with the assistance they need and, consequently, feel urgency. also for eradicating the root of each problem.


Much is said about the impact and the release of federal funds. However, the real discussion must be towards the expeditious distribution of funds by the government and private enterprise to those community organizations, community providers and foundations that provide goods and services efficiently and towards those that focus on eradicating problems at their source. To achieve this, channeling funds in an efficient, visible and transparent manner has to be the north. Only in this way will we know the true social impact and get closer to a transcendental change.


- Diego J. Loinaz Martin.founder of Sociants.com, social entrepreneur and health lawyer.



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