Sean Joe Joins NASEM Committee on Social Needs Care

Community Engagement; Faculty; Research; Social Work

Sean Joe, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and associate dean for faculty and research at the Brown School, has been chosen to be a part of a critical project for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The project, Integrating Social Needs Care into the Delivery of Health Care to Improve the Nation’s Health, focuses on exploring possible opportunities for integrating services that address social needs and the social determinants of health within the delivery of health care.

The NASEM project includes the expertise of Joe, a nationally recognized expert on mental health and suicidal behaviors in African-Americans, and 16 other committee members led by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of medicine and of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

 The first meeting will take place in July 2018 in Washington, D.C.  After 18 months, NASEM will issue a report and offer recommendations on how to expand social-needs care services. The committee hopes that this will lead to better coordination among social-needs care provider team members across a continuum of health settings. The report will also have suggestions for how to optimize the effectiveness of social services to improve health and health care.

The primary goal of the project is to address the major challenges facing the U.S. health care system that perpetuate disparities with regard to age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and among other vulnerable populations.

Joe feels the Brown School, with programs in in both social work and public health, is uniquely positioned to influence a national conversation regarding the integration of social needs into the healthcare agenda. “This is critical for social work, which has a strong scientific background and practice tradition,” he said. “I look forward to working with this committee to advance the state of the science regarding how to integrate social needs care into the delivery of health care.”