Population and Health Promotion
Of significance to the contemporary health promotion practices is the identification of the community/population health needs and the health services available. The identified health needs and available health services provide a bearing for the public health professionals about the strategies they need to institute for the address of the identified deficiencies. As such, it is beyond doubt that a community/population needs assessment is an important tool for the promotion of health at the community level. In essence, this paper aims at validating the significance of a community/population health needs assessment by identifying a population of interest in a local community, its health needs and currently available health services. By so doing, a new understanding of the healthcare priorities of this population is inevitable.
Primarily, the community of interest is Miami-Dade County located within the state of Florida. Various factors contribute either positively or negatively to this community’s health status and are worth noting. In essence, this section will highlight these factors as well as the existent partnerships that contribute the health status of this community.
Factors Contributing to the Community’s Health Status
The factors that influence the health status of residents of Miami-Dade County abound and are noteworthy. A case in point of such factors is the limited medical insurance coverage existent within this community. According to Zevallos, Wilcox, Jean, and Acuña, (2016), only 34% of the Miami-Dade County has a medical insurance coverage. Such a proportion is low and thus reduces the accessibility to healthcare services, which negatively affects the health status of this community.
Another factor that negatively affects this community is the high proportion of aging persons. An aging population comes with various challenges that affect the health status of the whole community. For instance, old age associated conditions such as obesity, cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, anxiety/depressionand bone fractures negatively affects the health status of this community (Zevallos, et al., 2016).
Partnerships that Affect Community’s Health Status
Various partnerships are existent within Miami-Dade County that affect its health status. For instance, the WalkSafe’s partnerships with the Police Departments as well as other community organizations have resulted in safe environments that are necessary for healthy and active living communities (Miami-Dade County, 2017).
Ways of Improving Community’s Health Status
Central to the improvement of the community health status are variousstrategies that public health nurses need to develop. A befitting example of such strategies is emphasis on lifestyle modification for the prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart diseases that are prevalent in this community. Lifestyle modification entails exercise and dietary modifications that will lower the risk of developing such conditions and thereby improving the community health status(Fredriksen-Goldsen, et al., 2014).
Notwithstanding, increasing opportunities elderly persons to engage in physical activity is a strategy worth exploring for the improvement of community’s health status. Fredriksen-Goldsen, et al., (2014)are of the opinion that physical inactivity accounts for conditions such as depression and worsened chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity, which negatively influence the community health status.
Population of Interest
Of significance to the needs assessment is the elderly population residing in this community. The elderly persons living in the state of Florida, where Miami forms part, constitutes 19% of the total elderly population in the USA(Zevallos, et al., 2016). Such a proportion is high and necessitates having services geared towards meeting their needs.
Health Promotion of the Population
Current health promotion practices for the elderly populationin this community entails the primary and secondary levels of prevention interventions. The primary level of prevention offers preventative services such as health education whose efficacy is greatest in the protection of this population from chronic conditions. The secondary level of prevention entails interventions such cancer screening services that aim at stopping the progression of a disease to its severity(Zevallos, et al., 2016).
Agencies Providing Health-related Services to this Population
Befitting examples of agencies that provide healthcare-related services to elderly persons within the Miami include the Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Centerand South Florida Division of Easter Seals. Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Center’s initiatives include Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAEP),educational programs, recreational activities, caregiver assistance, information and referral, volunteer opportunities, and legal services.Elderly persons eligible for its services are both homebound and independent seniors(Miami-Dade County, 2017).South Florida Division of Easter Seals mainly runs Alzheimer’s adult day care and home respite care services for elderly individuals and caregivers. The eligible members for these services are thus persons with Alzheimer’s as well as caregivers. The cost of attaining these services is high especially for elderly individuals without insurance coverage. For instance, the private pay cost per day is $45 and is inclusive of transportation and meals(Seniority Matters, 2015).
Concisely, this paper aimed at identifying a population of interest in a local community, its health needs and currently available health services. Largely, it has achieved this objective and several implications arise from the same. For instance, from the extensive analysis, it is indisputable that the health status of the chosen population () requires further improvement based on the established health concerns. As such, going forward, health promotional services must address these concerns if they are to succeed in the bettering of health services provided to this population. In the absence of such a consideration, however, the identified health concerns will persist for the unforeseeable future.
Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I., Cook-Daniels, L., Kim, H. J., Erosheva, E. A., Emlet, C. A., Hoy-Ellis, C. P., Goldsen, J.,& Muraco, A. (2014). Physical and mental health of transgender older adults: An at-risk and underserved population. The Gerontologist, 54(3), 488-500.
Miami-Dade County. (2017). Health. Miamidade.gov. Retrieved 4 October 2017, from http://www.miamidade.gov/greenprint/planning/library/milestone_one/health.pdf
Miami-Dade County. (2017). Specialized Senior Centers – Miami-Dade County. Miamidade.gov. Retrieved 4 October 2017, from http://www.miamidade.gov/socialservices/elderly-specialized-centers.asp
Seniority Matters. (2015). Resources: Programs and Activities | Seniority Matters. Senioritymatters.com. Retrieved 4 October 2017, from http://www.senioritymatters.com/programs
Zevallos, J. C., Wilcox, M. L., Jean, N., & Acuña, J. M. (2016). Profile of the older population living in Miami-Dade County, Florida: An observational study. MSedicine, 95(20).