Social Determinants of Health
Environmental pollutants and climate change are two factors closely tied to human and animal health. By knowing how Social Determinants of Health and Climate Change are affecting us, we can take the necessary steps to provide better environments for our homes and businesses.
Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) refer to the non-medical factors impacting overall health. These factors are at the center of a host of policies and initiatives by government agencies, health systems, and even the commercial sector. Noise pollution, poor air quality, and poor water quality are three environmental factors known to have a strong link to one’s health and well-being. Ultimately, addressing SDoH is about employing new sources of data and technologies to look beyond traditional care models in support of a complete health strategy.
For the Health People 2030 Project, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has included the following as one of four overarching goals for the decade: “Create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.
This particular goal highlights the importance of addressing SDoH, an emphasis shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health and published in the WHO guidelines for the intersection of Social Determinants of Health, Housing, Healthcare and Public Health. The growing list of SDoH-related programs is diverse in approach and size. But what has become consistent is the understanding by healthcare leadership that, in order to deliver better health outcomes, social determinants must be addressed. Moreover, the relationship between healthcare outcomes and SDoH factors such as noise pollution, air quality and water quality must be definitively determined.
While debate continues to surround the details of climate change, there is medical and scientific consensus that these changes clearly are occurring and also progressing. Wind speeds are increasing, the number of solar days is decreasing, and global temperatures are rising. And these environmental shifts are affecting not only flora and fauna but also the health of people on every continent.
Unprecedented fires in the western United States, Australia and the Amazon rainforest, as well as record rainfall across Europe and the North American coasts, are yet more proof that the Earth’s climate is shifting. The WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have identified environmental heat exposure as an evolving threat in homes and in the workplace.
Shifting global temperatures have been demonstrated not only to increase stress levels but also to increase the rates of aggression, bullying, verbal abuse and even workplace violence. Studies in several urban areas found that for every 2 degree rise in average yearly temperature, the rates of homicides, assaults and suicides rose by 3%. Interestingly, these increases were mitigated by indoor environmental temperature and humidity control. But as global temperatures rise, so too does the cost of cooling indoor spaces. Home and business owners can save up to 30% on their heating and cooling costs while reducing their carbon footprint, though, by installing a SMART ventilation controller. This type of controller uses outdoor air to heat or cool the indoor space, as opposed to engaging the condenser, when outdoor temperature and humidity are appropriate for the task.
As outdoor temperatures swing through increasing extremes of temperature and higher allergen production, many people will spend more and more time indoors. Living or working in confined quarters increases exposure to illness and contributes to poor indoor air quality. Finding ways to reduce that risk and monitor your efforts is key. The COVID-19 pandemic punctuated the impact of indoor and outdoor pollutants on immunity, health and disease.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is vital because contaminants such as radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants can build up indoors, leading to potentially serious health problems. Poor air quality increases blood pressure, risk of fatal heart attack, and stroke by increasing the body’s stress response (also known as “Fight or Flight” response). By simply using a SMART ventilation controller to optimize air quality, you can reduce your family’s stress level or the stress level of your employees by up to 14%. This is a year-round need and is especially important during the extreme temperature months of the summer and winter, when many of us spend more time indoors.
High Alert Institute
4800 Ben Hill Trail
Lake Wales, FL 33898
Get Your Data
Do Not Sell Info
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-435-7352 (800-HELP-FLA), OR VISITING www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. Florida Registration #CH68959
REGISTRATION WITH A STATE AGENCY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THAT STATE.
Griffin Works offers Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs During Response Operations©, an audience-customized training that breaks down barriers by offering hands-on handling training and demonstrations with working service dogs for fire departments, EMS agencies, and public safety organizations.
Part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium and home to the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center, TEEX has been leading homeland security training since 1998. The major TEEX programs include fire and rescue, infrastructure and safety, law enforcement, economic and workforce development, and homeland security. As a member of The Texas A&M University System, TEEX is unique in its ability to access a broad range of emerging research and technical expertise. Beginning with course design and development all the way through hands-on instruction and national certification testing, TEEX delivers comprehensive training through both classroom and hands-on instruction and as online courses.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. This unique network of child-serving professionals, caregivers and young adults, researchers, and national partners is committed to changing the course of children’s lives by improving their care and moving scientific gains quickly into practice across the U.S. The NCTSN is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and coordinated by the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS).
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The EMI provides national leadership in developing and delivering training to ensure that individuals and groups having key emergency management responsibilities possess the requisite skills to effectively perform their jobs.
The High Alert Institute maintains a list of reviewed courses provided by governments, universities and professional organizations. This list is geared towards the non-emergency management person who participates in disaster planning, preparedness, response, recovery or mitigation as part of their job responsibilities.
The High Alert Institute has partnered with Shutterstock to distribute stock images from the nature images donated by our supporters. For eligible stock images, Shutterstock will donate a portion of the royalty to the High Alert Institute. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to Shutterstock customers.
For eligible purchases through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the High Alert Institute. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to AmazonSmile customers. All you need to do is push the SMILE NOW button and select to support THE HIGH ALERT INSTITUTE on AmazonSmile.
Koi need forever homes, too! For pond enthusiasts, freshwater exotic and ornamental fish may not be available through pet stores or rescues in their area. The High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program will be happy to assist you in stocking your new pond or adding a new finned friend to your school. Coming soon – when you adopt a Koi from the High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program, we can arrange for delivery to your door anywhere in the continental United States.
Have you always wanted a Koi pond but don’t have the space one? Sponsor a Koi in our community shelter pond and we send you photos of your sponsored animal. Coming soon are live Koi Cameras above and below the water to enjoy your sponsored Koi anytime.
Dumping of freshwater non-native species and exotic aquatic pets into wild habitats is a man-made disaster that is truly preventable. The Institute’s Aquatic Pet Welfare Partnership works to raise awareness and reduce the impact on healthy ecosystems through education, as well as rescue and rehoming. Joined by champions of animal welfare and environmental stewardship, this association of aquatic pet rescue operations and aquatic pet shelters across the United States aims to save our finned friends and preserve our waterways together.
Want to share our cause with family, friends, and colleagues? Looking for a non-traditional way to celebrate a birthday or honor someone special? Support the Institute by starting your own Peer-to-Peer fundraising challenge! Let your contacts know why our mission is important to you and what they can do to support your cause. START YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER for the High Alert Institute.
From the staffing pool to the shelter ponds, from the boardroom to the classroom, and from reading the science to writing the analyses, High Alert Institute programs and services benefit from the experience, expertise, and generosity of our volunteers. Put your talents to use for good and to good use – VOLUNTEER TODAY.
Make your donation twice as nice by rehoming aquatic pets and providing a rehabilitation companion pet to a deserving person, family, or facility. Sponsor part or all of a Joy of Koi Program pond installation – complete with rehomed koi – and give the gifts of love and recovery.
Professional photographers, amateurs, and legal copywrite holders are all welcome to participate in the High Alert Institute Nature Photo Donation Program. Sales of the images benefit the Institute and donors are eligible for tax deductions equivalent to the fair market value of their photos. Landscapes, seascapes, animals, flowers – all may be accepted – whether new or vintage images. People may be included in the photo but only if unidentifiable (i.e., blurred figures at a distance).
Did you know that unused patents and copyrights can be donated to charity? Intellectual Property (IP) just sitting on a shelf will lose value as it becomes obsolete. The High Alert Institute IP Donation Program seeks to rescue stranded, technology-related IP with the potential for development into marketable products. Once accepted by the program, the owner/inventor is eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to the fair market value of the IP. The Institute receives the patent licensing fees or revenue from the sale of the IP to businesses, helping us to fund our mission. In turn, businesses are able to advance their markets and create jobs for less money than starting a project from scratch.
Disasters are defined as situations in which needs exceed or overwhelm available resources. Some disasters affect an entire community, while other disasters impact individuals and families. Crises of physical or psychological health can be very personal disasters.
The therapeutic value of pets during illness, trauma, and recovery is well established. And Koi fish may be well suited for people who are not able to provide verbal pet commands or physically care for pets like dogs and cats. Koi ponds are also a source of beauty and peace, providing an ideal setting for quiet reflection or meditation.
We are working to partner with pond installers and aquatic pet rescues/shelters to offer free or reduced-cost ponds with rehomed Koi fish to people seeking this type of pet therapy.
Disasters disrupt life and impact our sense of personal, family, and community safety. Survivors and responders alike often are not aware of the emotional, psychological or spiritual challenges that they may face from disaster onset through recovery. With two decades of experience training responders and communities to prepare for the behavioral health aspects of disasters, we will continue to provide education and a curated list of resources to groups or individuals.
Non-medical factors that impact overall health are termed Social Determinants of Health or SDoH. Noise pollution, poor air quality, and poor water quality are three environmental factors known to have a strong link to overall health. And the same environmental factors that impact humans impact their pets and other animals in their care. We continue to assist in advocacy, education, and technology development to mitigate the impact of SDoH on humans and animals alike.
Our efforts in shelter and rescue are the main focus of our environmental stewardship, reducing the environmental impact of non-native aquatic animals being dumped into public waterways. The High Alert Institute also assists innovators with the design, development, and evaluation of green and renewable energy technologies. Reducing the carbon footprint associated with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery furthers our continued mission to mitigate risk and improve resilience.
We partner with public and private organizations, sharing resources and fostering partnerships to improve disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and mitigation.
The High Alert Institute team has over a century of combined research experience in medical, nursing, behavioral health, and disaster sciences. Our team provides support to researchers and technology developers through comprehensive literature searches and reviews, as well as failure mode database searches and adjudicated reviews.
When disaster strikes, most aquatic pet owners have limited options to secure the safety of their pets. Sheltering in place may not be possible if there is no power to provide aeration and “pet-friendly” shelters do not include ponds or aquariums. Our goal is to provide an option for aquatic pet owners in need of rescue and shelter for their finned friends.
Our goal is to share our two decades of disaster readiness experience with animal welfare organizations, shelters, caretakers, and pet owners, as they implement contingency plans for natural and manmade disasters.