Social and Physical Environments that Promote Health (Social Determinants of Health)

In DHS, the Minority Health Program provides a "home" for the two crosscutting focus areas of the state health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 (HW 2020): Health Disparities; and Social, Economic and Educational Factors that Influence Health. These two focus areas are called “crosscutting” because making improvements in these areas can affect all of the other health and infrastructure focus areas. (See page 13 of HW2020 Executive Summary P-00187-exe (PDF, 649 KB).)

While continuing to help individuals and families take responsibility for their health, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 focuses on how health choices are influenced by other factors, such as where we live, learn, work and play. These factors are sometimes referred to as the "social determinants of health."  (See page 4 of HW2020 Executive Summary P-00187-exe (PDF, 649 KB).)


According to the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute, Health of Wisconsin Report Card 2013, Wisconsin received a 'D' for its all-ages health disparity grade. The Department's most recent minority health report, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Baseline and Health Disparities Report, documents the disproportionate burden of poor health that persists among racial and ethnic minority populations in Wisconsin. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to health care consumers has the potential to improve access to care, quality of care, and, ultimately, health outcomes.

Below you will find links to various resources that address the issues of cultural competency and language access.

Critical Links

Educational Resources

Methods, Tools and Toolkits

Wisconsin Programs Addressing Social Determinants

Last Revised: December 16, 2016