A Dallas-based occupational medicine physician, Dr. Melissa Tonn consults with companies on their occupational health programs as the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A. Also a fellow of the International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators, Dallas-based medical benefits manager Dr. Melissa Tonn has an interest in studying how social determinants impact health.
While many people think of health mainly as a current physical condition, a person’s overall health is influenced by a variety of factors in their environment, which are mostly out of their immediate control. Social determinants of health are conditions that contribute to either positive or negative health outcomes for an individual or community.
Examples of social determinants are the extent of someone’s social support network and their level of access to quality education and healthcare. Other social determinants impacting health are a person’s working and living conditions and the availability of community infrastructure to support health and safety. In addition to increasing funding for education and health programs, community leaders can improve public health by also addressing infrastructure needs like safe and reliable transportation, neighborhood security, and convenient access to healthy food and outdoor recreation opportunities.
A distinguished Dallas-area occupational medicine physician and healthcare executive, Melissa Tonn, MD, serves as the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A. In addition to her professional work, Dr. Melissa Tonn devotes time and effort to improving conditions for the less fortunate, including by donating to Christ’s Family Clinic in Dallas.
For 16 years, Christ’s Family Clinic (CFC) has provided critical healthcare services to uninsured people of all backgrounds who have nowhere else to go. While many charity clinics only offer urgent care, CFC emphasizes comprehensive, preventive care and ongoing support for chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac conditions.
CFC strives to provide a safety net for Dallas’ working poor who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Even with the Affordable Care Act, more than 30 million people still lack health insurance, including one in four Texans. Without any federal or state funding, the clinic relies solely on donations to serve those who fall into the insurance gap. Find out more at https://christsfamilyclinic.org.
Board certified in occupational medicine and the author of many medical publications, Dr. Melissa Tonn is the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A., in Dallas. Active in the Dallas community and professional associations, Dr. Melissa Tonn has an interest in studying the social determinants of health.
Various personal, economic, and environmental conditions impact health and well being, and sometimes lead to disease. Researchers recognize that these social determinants not only impact overall health, but also a person's likelihood of injury and subsequent recovery prospects.
People living with negative social determinants, such as exposure to dangerous workplaces, neighborhoods, or schools, are more likely to sustain injuries from falls, fires, burns, vehicle collisions, and domestic or community violence, according to healthypeople.gov, a website run by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Certain community programs can reduce injury rates related to environmental or social determinants. For instance, municipalities can better design their traffic flow to reduce pedestrian, bicyclist, and traffic-related injuries. Efforts like home modifications, prescription reviews, and vision screenings can reduce fall injuries among senior citizens. In addition, investments in job training, education, and affordable housing initiatives are key to reducing crime and violence-related injuries.
An experienced physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, specializes in musculoskeletal disorders, workers’ compensation and disability cases, and chronic regional pain syndrome.