BHE310 Discussion 1
question 1: How might you go about increasing access to health care in rural areas where individuals may not have iPhone, internet, tv, and other forms of technology? How would you make them aware of their options?
question 2: Formulate one new comment of your own. It must be a logical and thoughtful response that synthesizes the comments of at least 3 classmates into one comment. Be sure to synthesize; do not simply reply to each of the 3 classmates.
Although there are many aspects to a healthy community that will ultimately lead to an improved population health, one must organize and prioritize based on individual community risk factors and exposures. Among the numerous factors, two key focal points for public health professionals are the environment as well as behaviors and lifestyles. A population’s environment can have both a positive and negative effect on the community, and the individual’s behavior and/or lifestyle can also serve as a determining factor in health outcomes.
Two major factors that determine a population’s health are behaviors/lifestyles as well as the environmental factors (CDC, 2016). Some influences are within a population’s control while others are dependent on legislators and other government officials to manage. Some individual behavior lifestyles that can lead to positive change are eating healthy, exercising regularly, and not smoking cigarettes (CDC, 2016). Although many look at this influence on health as individual’s responsibility, there is some external influence as well. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), behaviors and lifestyles are in part shaped by the environment which surrounds the population.
As a public health professional one target topic for the Mayor of the community would be cigarette use among middle school and high school students. Some concerning statistics have been presented in the state of Florida, and are sure to be present throughout the United States. According to the Florida Department of Health (2020), in 2019 10.3 percent of the aforementioned population have smoked cigarettes.
There are many principles for healthy communities that I value, however, for this discussion I will only focus on three of them. After reading the required reading, the principles that I find that matter the most to me in a healthy community are: “education-educating those on health matters, housing-making sure everyone has access to clean places to live to prevent the spread of bacteria, and environment-making a better environment for people to be heathier and thrive in.” (Healthy People 2020, 2020) These are important to me because these three are closely linked together as in without one the others fall. To specify, education is making health matters known and the prevention of the spread of diseases. Being aware of how to prevent the spread of bacteria can aid in the health of many people, as well as bringing awareness to issues and facts that they previously may have not known. Health education is important and without it the overall health of the population will decline. Housing is the second as many people that have no residences are more susceptible to diseases and bacterial infections. Housing is essentially the “setting of an individual’s everyday life and housing can ensure that the society one lives in creates conditions that can uphold the health of the individual.” (WHO, 1986) Housing is so much more than just a roof over one’s head, it is a place that a person can keep up with their health and thrive in a clean environment. Environment is next as it helps determine how healthy a person can be. The pollution of the environment that is filled with smog, gasses, trash, and dying wildlife can greatly affect the health of people. Without a clean and thriving environment, the people cannot become healthier as they will inhale the smog and gasses. People cannot also go for a walk and breathe in fresh air that is good for their lungs if trash is killing the wildlife and plants. Deterioration of the earth come the deterioration of health in people.
I would tell the mayor that my community of North Las Vegas has a child obesity problem and this issue is influenced by the environment that surrounds them. “Research demonstrates 70% of obese children and adolescents ages 5 to 17 years old (y.o.) have at least one risk factor for CVD, and 39% could have two or more.” (DPBH, 2020) By fixing the issue of the environment, health education, and housing issues we can “create an environment that promotes good health for them to thrive in” (Blakely, 2020) The children are in need of a plan that goes much farther than eating healthier, what surrounds them will shape them. By cleaning up the environment in this community we can shape them to want to go outside and partake in healthy activities. This follows with making sure that they have housing in clean areas that we can educate them on health matters. My community is unhealthy by the trash that flows around no matter how many times we pick it up, the dust clouds and heavy pollution in the air also is a detrimental factor. The ways that my community is healthy is when they serve free healthy meals and provide clean areas and clothing to the children. The children also have access to a gated park with two playgrounds and many fields to exercise in. As the famous saying goes ‘it takes a village/community to raise a child’ and this community can do more by starting with their environment.
Healthy communities work together to prevent diseases and help to develop a healthy lifestyle for everyone in a community. The most important principle to me is the principle of environmental sustainability because it determines renewable resource usage rates, rates of consumption of nonrenewable resources, and rates of pollution emissions towards the environment (B The Change, 2017). The second most important principle to me is the principle of people’s sovereignty. In a healthy society, human needs are met, as opposed to money needs or corporations. “It is the inalienable sovereign right of the people to decide how to use their local resources to best nourish their bodies and their spirit within the limits of the first three principles,” B The Change (2017, para 10) mentions. For an environment to be sustainable, resources must continue indefinitely. Humans need clean air an environment that is nontoxic in order to have healthy communities, which justifies the importance of environmental sustainability.
I would point out to the mayor of my community of Suffolk that the development of programs and organizations will encourage individuals to work together to maintain a healthy community. Creating a community design can greatly affect our health. Currently, in Suffolk, concentrations of pollutants are present in the air quality levels, but there are no concerns at the time. Physical activity levels are low in my community, which is a huge risk factor for diseases and disabilities. According to Healthy Suffolk (n.d.), “Despite the proven benefits of a physically active lifestyle, over 60% of American adults are insufficiently active to achieve these benefits and over 25% are not active at all in their leisure time” (para 1).