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Rural Health Information Hub

Dissemination Audiences for SDOH Programs

Many types of audiences may benefit from learning more about social determinants of health (SDOH) and programs that are addressing them. Disseminating information about the mission, goals, and results of SDOH programs to different audiences can promote community engagement and buy-in. Broad dissemination can also increase chances of program success and help with sustainability planning.

Programs addressing SDOH often aim to improve several SDOH at once. As a result, many SDOH programs develop cross-sector partnerships and use approaches that engage a wide variety of audiences for implementation. When considering the audiences to target for dissemination of program results, it is important to include existing partner organizations and agencies, as well as other audiences who might benefit from knowing about the program. SDOH programs may target specific social determinants, such as food insecurity, housing quality and affordability, transportation, and healthcare access, among others. In some cases, dissemination efforts should be tailored to the specific type of SDOH being addressed.

Rural programs addressing SDOH note that when sharing information about a program, it is essential to understand the dynamics of the communities in which the program intends to share resources and results. Finding a local champion who can spread the word about the program is also important.

For a general list of key audiences for disseminating information about rural health programs, see Methods of Dissemination in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Other key audiences for disseminating information specific to rural SDOH programs include:

  • Community members and the general public
  • State and local health departments
  • Local policymakers
  • Local advocacy organizations
  • Community-based organizations
  • Business owners
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Regional and community planning organizations
  • State and local government agencies, such as Departments of Transportation, Housing, or Agriculture
  • State Offices of Rural Health
  • Healthcare organizations and healthcare providers
  • Schools, including universities and extension programs
  • Foundations

Rural SDOH programs also emphasize the importance of building community partnerships and connecting with local champions and community leaders as keys to program success. These community leaders may be part of groups such as:

  • Elected local government officials
  • Civic organizations
  • Local businesses
  • School boards and parent-teacher groups
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Local media

Resources to Learn More

Navigating the Translation and Dissemination of PHSSR Findings: A Decision Guide for Researchers
Describes resources and strategies that researchers can use to share results of public health programs, including information about how to define and target potential dissemination audiences.
Author(s): Sofaer, S., Talis, N., Edmunds, M., & Papa, K.
Organization(s): AcademyHealth
Date: 8/2013