Small Conversations for a Better World Podcast

The Social Determinants of Health w/ Kristy Kerr

January 08, 2021 Gillian McCormick, Susannah Steers Season 2 Episode 2
Small Conversations for a Better World Podcast
The Social Determinants of Health w/ Kristy Kerr
Show Notes

We may not always connect the dots, but our social environment has a massive impact on our health and wellbeing. Social Determinants of Health involve a list of things that are proven to directly influence health outcomes. They include sex, gender identity, race, the level of education of your parents and of yourself, where you live, how much money you make, and a host of other factors. We reached out to Kristy Kerr, Executive Director of the BC CDC Foundation for Public Health to ask her about the Social Determinants of Health, and their impact on our health. She talked to us about some of the great initiatives this one-of-a-kind foundation is involved in, in efforts to address these social realities.

About Kristy Kerr
Kristy Kerr is the Executive Director of the BCCDC Foundation, a registered charity,  working in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, as well as other stakeholders, in order to improve public health outcomes in BC. She’s responsible for leading strategic direction, organizational development, and the consistent achievement of the mission, vision, and mandate of the BCCDC Foundation. Kristy believes that our best way forward to create a truly healthy society is to increase public health awareness  and investment, and she is leading the Foundation with these goals in mind. Passionate about health promotion, prevention, health equity, and the social determinants of health, Kristy believes we need to shift our focus to upstream actions, that is, addressing root causes of issues and emphasizing positive and holistic health. Upstream thinking will shift our current primary focus on the acute care system toward an investment in stopping problems before they need to be fixed, resulting in a reduction in the burden on our healthcare system, and thereby improving it in the 

Prior to joining the BCCDC Foundation, Kristy worked in different research management 
and grant- writing roles within the academic world. She also worked in international  development and global health, spending time in Zambia and Kenya working with local stakeholders on various community-based initiatives. Kristy has a Master’s degree in Public Health with a specialization in Health Promotion, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology, and an Associate’s degree in Creative Writing. 

A BCCDC Foundation Call to Action
The BCCDC Foundation needs advocates to spread the message that we all have a role
to play in population health: individual actions can have a population impact. By working together to shift how we see health and how we engage with our healthcare system, we can protect the health of our communities now and for future generations.

Are you interested in hearing more about the work of the BCCDC Foundation? Want to join our battle cry and Activate Health by becoming a health ambassador in your community?

Learn more at and join us on Twitter, Facebook, and
Instagram @BccdcFoundation

If you’d like to support the BCCDC Foundation’s initiatives to address COVID-19, the
overdose crisis, or other priorities, you can donate online or reach out to donate

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Find Susannah Steers at and on social media @themovingspirit.

Find Gillian McCormick at and on social media @physiogillian