SDoH: Does Transportation Access Affect Employment?
Last month, our Director of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and Product Development Tamara Carlton discussed how food insecurities impact maternal health. This month, she’s exploring how lack of transportation access to work programs, training programs, and more can affect individuals as they search for employment—and ultimately, negatively impact their health outcomes.
Every day, millions of Americans actively seek employment. HealthyPeople says that multiple aspects of employment—including job security, the work environment, financial compensation, and job demands—affect SDoH. Without a sustainable transportation plan to help them get to and from employment and specialized programs, such as work or training programs, workers have no access to learning their trade. And, without a successful trade, they are unable to support themselves and their families, which ultimately impacts access to affordable health care.
As more jobs continue to move to automobile-dependent locations, those without access to a car or other reliable mode of transportation miss out on employment opportunities. Whether due to income or disability considerations, many workers spend multiple hours a day getting to their job site. Additionally, for those without a reliable means of transportation, countless dollars are wasted every day, potentially impacting healthcare for the employee and their family.
Is There a Solution?
As a promising first step, Congress has officially passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill, which will fund many modes of transportation nationwide. This will not only affect Americans’ access to current jobs and employment opportunities, but will also generate hundreds of thousands of brand new jobs. While employment opportunities will increase for many Americans across the country, so will access to healthcare. The more access we have to healthcare, the more Americans can avoid some of those detrimental SDoH and live more sustainable, healthy lives.
What Has MTM Done to Help?
Providing more than 20 million trips to members nationwide every year, MTM recognizes that transportation is the key to addressing SDoH that impact members’ health outcomes. Transportation, combined with technology and innovation, can impact food insecurities, access to safe housing, social integration, employment, education, and more.
MTM continues to collaborate with partners who work with programs such as employment workshops, work programs, and training facilities. Our vision of communities without barriers continues to move forward, giving access to create opportunities for those impacted by SDoH. With transportation access and availability becoming more reliable, we can help increase job sustainability and tackle solutions to improve SDoH and drive healthy outcomes!