The Social Determinants of Health

The healthcare world is on alert. Health and well-being are about much more than hospitals and doctors. The conditions of day-to-day life—where and how you’re born, live, work, recreate, congregate, age and learn—all have long-term implications on your health. Healthcare professionals call these factors the “social determinants of health” (SDoH). As we begin to understand the longer-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are more important than ever. 

Social Connection is Key

Amava was founded based on research and the findings are clear: social connectedness is an undisputed social determinant of health. As former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy puts it in his recent book on the subject, “Just as hunger and thirst are our body’s ways of telling us we need to eat and drink, loneliness is the natural signal that reminds us when we need to connect with other people.” Amava is on the case.

The Amava Approach

Our approach to helping our community bolster social health is simple. We work with high-quality organizations looking for volunteers, participants and employees to learn, give back and earn in socially engaging ways and engage with experts to deliver the best ideas about social wellness to our Members. As we all adjust to the new normal, we’ve expanded our opportunities in two specific ways:

  • Amava Circles: a new way to learn and connect with others. Amava Circles are vibrant, live, guided discussions with others around topics of shared interest. The point of Circles is to get you involved with other people in real time around shared interests, so you can learn, share and connect. You can take on a specific topic that you care about or just come hang out and have fun. Many of us have been passively staring at screens during the pandemic and that doesn’t keep us connected to others. That’s why we designed a program where you can unmute and join the conversation. With friends you know and friends you haven’t met yet. 
  • Virtual Volunteers: opportunities for you to volunteer safely during Covid-19 and help shape the future. We’ve teamed up with leading organizations who are looking for your time and energy to move their missions forward. You can write letters to people who need a lift, make blankets for shelter pets, lead healthy food classes online and so much more. All from the safety of your own home. When we all feel comfortable getting back out there, you’ll have new connections, horizons and purpose. And yes, in the interim and beyond, we’ll have Circles for virtual volunteers too. 

Taking charge of your health is about more than checking your blood pressure and going to the doctor’s office. It’s also about getting involved in meaningful activities that keep you connected to others. We are so glad to have you as part of the Amava community. Let’s get going on your social wellness!