This has led to a host of clinical programs designed to identify actionable consequences of poverty and financial insecurity, like not being able to afford healthy food or a safe place to stay, and then connect patients to resources that can address these so called "social needs".
It turns out this is true of not just health interventions but financial interventions too.
Policies and programs that support family financial stability early in a child's life like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) and affordable high quality childcare and preschool have been shown to improve various measures of children's health, development, achievement and, as adults, their ability to sustain themselves financially and create an economic return on investment to their communities.
asset building, debt reduction, credit counseling and so on).
A study conducted with LIFT-Los Angeles found that these comprehensive programs improve low-income parents' mental health which is a key determinant of their children's health and development.
It is also important to point out that one major threat to family financial well-being today is the sky-high costs of health care.
So, not only do I think constantly about how finances might be contributing to health outcomes, I also consider whether the costs of medical care itself might undermine the financial well-being of my patients' families. I was in my primary care clinic seeing a newborn infant who had recently been discharged from the hospital.
That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be screened for financial hardship at all child clinic visits and, when appropriate, referred to programs like these to reduce financial strain.
The benefits of these public programs and Comprehensive financial empowerment and coaching programs that address multiple aspects of financial well-being in families with young children leverage many of these public programs at once in the context of wraparound financial services (i.e.
The answer depends to a large extent on the local health and financial needs of each community.
Just as certain communities face higher rates of obesity or lung disease, the unique challenges to financial security communities face how those financial issues relate to health services and outcomes should drive solutions, ideally with input from community members themselves.