Social Emergency Medicine

“One can view the ED (by law, the most accessible door into our healthcare system) as the social barometer of its community. Within the waiting room the emergency physicians witness the confluence of social determinants of health and their deconstruction into pathology. Our daily practice compels us to act, to systematically and collaboratively act on upstream social factors to positively and comprehensively influence downstream health outcomes.”[1]

Social emergency medicine embraces the role of the ED in population health, and advocates for the integration of social determinants of health into emergency care. Social emergency medicine, as a defined concept, was developed at Highland Hospital by Dr. Harrison Alter, and other founding members of the Levitt Center for Social Emergency Medicine. The Department of Emergency Medicine at Highland Hospital continues to pioneer and embrace social emergency medicine as a core value of our program.

Ongoing social emergency medicine initiatives include: