Youth STI Education Program
Summary of what the SDOH is and what it does in my community
Teenagers are still very likely to get STIs (sexually transmitted diseases) in the community. In Washtenaw County, one of the biggest health problems among 15–24-year-olds was found to be a rise in STIs. The higher rates were caused by the fact that teenagers didn’t know enough about the illnesses. The plan was to suggest a policy that would make sure that young people were taught about sexual health in order to solve the health care problem in the county. Reviewing the research, it was found that the most likely way to deal with STIs is through a teaching program for college and university students that is based on evidence.
Summary of how the proposed policy will deal with the SDOH in my community
The policy that was suggested was to teach 18–24-year-olds about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as part of the university and college curriculum. It was important to take this approach because most of the people affected were teenagers who wanted to go to college. The new strategy was supposed to make sure that all students got basic information about STIs to encourage them to act responsibly in their sexual lives. Also, the new change could make sure that young people know about the ways to deal with diseases, such as early screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Policymakers are asked to consider a persuasive plan of action.
Policymakers, like the public health officer, public health director, public health nurse, medical director of Washtenaw county, and Michigan State representative, were informed so that the new change could be put into place in a good way. Emails, letters, meetings, and phone calls were used to make sure lawmakers knew about the new change and what they needed to do to make it work. To impress policymakers, information was given about how the number of STIs among teens is going up. The facts about how education can help lower the number of STIs in universities and colleges were presented in a way that was based on evidence. During the persuasion, the stakeholders were told about their power, influence, and expertise to show them how important they were to the idea.
Setting and Goals
What Affects Health (SDOH) in My Community
The conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, and age affect their health and quality of life. These conditions are called “social determinants of health” (SDOH). People’s health is strongly affected by the social determinants, which include things like education, amount of income, environment, and access to health care services (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, n.d.). Washtenaw county has an SDOH problem because it doesn’t have a program to teach people about sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) that is based on facts. Education is a strong way to make sure that people know how to deal with diseases in their communities and have the skills to do so. The lack of education in universities and schools in the country has led to more STIs among young people. This is the main problem. Findings show that teenagers don’t get enough information and help about their reproductive health. Youth in Washtenaw county can learn a lot more about STIs if they use an education program that is based on facts.
Information to back up the SDOH
Sexually transmitted infections are caused by more than 35 diseases that can be spread through physical contact. The Healthy People 2020 goal for STIs was to encourage healthy sexual behaviors, strengthen community capacity, and increase access to quality services to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their complications (ODPHP, n.d.-b). In the US, where about 20 million new STDs are found every year, there is still work to be done to encourage good sexual behavior. It has also been found that half of these cases are found in people between the ages of 15 and 24. The Healthy People 2020 report says that unidentified and untreated STIs are the cause of infertility in more than 24,000 US women. Washtenaw County is one of the places in Michigan where there are a lot of STIs. About 456.2 out of every 100,000 people in the county have a STI. This number is much higher than the national rate (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2020). Since 2014, the rate of chlamydia infections has gone up, according to statistics from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (2020). This shows that there is a lack of education and prevention about the disease. The number of STIs in the county will go down a lot thanks to health education programs in universities and schools.
There is evidence that teenagers don’t know enough about STIs and how to avoid them, such as by getting vaccinated. In the US, for example, only 57% of teenage girls had at least one shot of the HPV vaccine in 2013. So, only 38% were able to get all three shots of the HPV vaccine like they were supposed to (CDC, 2014). These numbers show that schools don’t teach enough about sexual health and how to avoid common STDs with things like vaccinations.
Three things about the people SDOH is trying to help:
Sexually transmitted infections are popular among young people because they don’t know enough about how to be sexually responsible. The first thing to know about the target group is that they are between the ages of 18 and 24. It is clear that young people between the ages of 15 and 24 make up almost half of the STI cases in Washtenaw County. The second trait has to do with boys and girls in Washtenaw county between the given ages. (ODPHP, n.d.-b) Information from Healthy People 2020 shows that women get STDs more often than men. But there isn’t a big difference in the number of people who are affected, so both boys and girls are in the group of people who are affected. The third thing about the focus group is that boys and girls in Washtenaw county go to universities and colleges. Based on where STIs are found in the area, it’s clear that the most hit places are those with lots of college and university students. Also, most people between the ages of 15 and 24 are still in school, making them a focus of the new STI education program.
The rate of sexually transmitted infections in the county changes by age, race, gender, and location. For example, recent statistics show that black females have the highest rate of STIs in Michigan (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2020). People between the ages of 20 and 24 are most likely to get Chlamydia and other STIs.
Identifying the right policymaker(s) or lawmaker(s)
The policy report will be sent to four people who have important roles in making policy. The first person will be Ms. Jimena Loveluck, who is the public health officer for Washtenaw County. The people will work with Dr. Robert Ernst, who is in charge of public health in the county, to make sure that the suggested change is supported by the youths. Ms. Katie Keppen, who works as a public health nurse for sexual health in Washtenaw County, is another important person who has a stake in the new policy. She will be a very important part of making sure the program is carried out in the region for the sake of sexual health. Penrose Alice, who is the medical head of Washtenaw county, will be called to make sure the county health department agrees with the change.
Because the department of education will be affected by the new policy change, the state director of the department of education, Michel F. Rice will be asked to help make rules that will change how schools teach about sexuality. David Dugger, who is the executive head of the Washtenaw educational options Consortium, is another important stakeholder who will help get in touch with the state department of education. Last, Ben Frederick, a state representative for the county of Michigan, will be asked to back the new policy, which could improve the health of the county and the state. I think that these people have the power and clout to make the planned policy change happen.
Why the SDOH needs the attention of policymakers
Sexually transmitted diseases have a big effect on the health of people and the economy of the United States. They also cost a lot of money. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that about $16 billion are spent each year to deal with the growing number of STDs in the country (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 2016). Two-thirds of chlamydia cases and almost half of gonorrhea diagnoses happen to people between the ages of 15 and 24 across the whole country. For example, numbers of both primary and secondary syphilis have gone up by 10% since 2010 (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 2020). Statistics also show that the number of people with chlamydia and gonorrhea in Washtenaw county changes over time. STIs are diseases that can be avoided, but only if you take good precautions. The new policy will make sure that young people who go to universities and colleges have to take a class on sexual education. This will help reduce the load on the county and the state. Without proper information and ways to avoid getting sick, the number of people with chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea will go up.
The proposed strategy needs to be looked at by the health care industry, the education department, and the state. The county public health nurse, the county public health head, and the sexual health public health nurse are all in charge of making sure the county’s health is kept up. Since the number of STIs among teens is going up, the department of health needs to raise knowledge of the problem and suggest changes that can help people’s health. Some of the people representing the education industry are the executive director of the county educational options consortium and the superintendent of the state department of education. These people have the power to change the way universities and colleges teach in order to improve the health of their pupils.
Current policy or what would happen if there wasn’t one
There aren’t any clear rules about how to stop the rising number of STIs in Washtenaw county. The county health department offers free HIV testing, free STIs screening, free condoms, and free pregnancy testing as ways to control and avoid STIs. Education and outreach are part of the program to stop diseases, but the fact that the number of diseases has been going up over the years shows that these tactics are not working in the county. No ongoing program has been found to provide education and outreach services for young people, along with things like protective gear. Maybe a program based on facts will help make sure that the public and young people get enough knowledge about screening and other ways to avoid the diseases.
Implications for ethics of current policy or lack of policy
In recent years, there is proof that medical institutions have made more clear efforts to act ethically than public health institutions. Even though the two sectors have different goals, the public health sector needs to focus on giving the people it serves the care they need. For example, if you want to avoid bad health outcomes, public health should focus on the main reasons why diseases happen. I think that because there are no clear rules about STIs, the public health sector has not been able to stop bad things from happening in the county. Also, ethical standards for providing public health services say that public health institutions should act quickly on the information they have, given their resources and the public’s expectations (Lee et al., 2020). If the right ways to keep STIs from spreading aren’t set up, this shows that ethics aren’t being followed. The new policy will make sure that the public health industry in the county is doing its part to prevent STIs.
Table of Demographics
(Insert title of SDOH)
A summary of facts and figures
Source of numbers and facts
Information about people
(Give at least two figures or facts about SDOH’s population in the column to the right.)
About 456 out of every 100,000 people in Washtenaw are touched by STIs each year.
There are more STIs in the county than in most other parts of the US.
Rankings and plans for county health, 2020.
Between 2010 and 2019, the number of people infected with both primary and secondary syphilis and chlamydia has gone up in the state.
In Washtenaw county, the number of STIs is on the rise.
Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Michigan, 2020.
(Give at least two figures or facts about risk factors for SDOH in the column to the right.
Having sex and being gay without any protection.
STIs can happen because of irresponsible sexual behavior.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016.
Young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
There are a lot of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among college and university students.
2016: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Changes in SDOH in the past year(s)
(Give at least two numbers or information about how SDOH has changed over the past year(s) in the column to the right.)
Since 2010, there have been 10% more cases of both primary and secondary syphilis every year.
There are only five programs in the US school system that teach about not using drugs.
The data show that these programs haven’t worked to lower the number of sexual partners, get more people to use condoms, or cut down on the number of STIs in schools.
Not doing enough to avoid STIs leads to more cases every year.
The problems of using condoms and having more than one sexual partner have not been dealt with in school-based teaching programs.
Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Michigan, 2020.
Manlove et al., 2015
From 2018 (453 cases per 100,000 people) to 2019 (490 cases per 100,000 people), the rate of Chlamydia in Washtenaw county has gone up every year.
STIs are getting more common in the area every year.
Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Michigan, 2020.
Policy proposal and plan for carrying it out
There are two ways to deal with the SDOH.
The first thing that Washtenaw county can do to deal with the problem of STIs is to use a program of teaching that is based on facts and is used in universities and colleges. On the county website, there are a number of programs to help young people, such as free services in hospitals and early screening. But the biggest problem is that young people don’t know enough about how bad the disease is in their county, state, and country. They do not know enough about the diseases’ risk factors and other ways to avoid getting them. A program to teach about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in universities and colleges will make sure that all students who go to college learn enough about STIs.
The second way to get more people to know about the diseases is to plan to teach people about them in schools and other public places. The planned approach can be set up by the health department with the help of volunteers and trained health care workers. Scholars like this method because it helps teens learn more and has been shown to work in reducing teen pregnancies (Manlove et al., 2015). The program can be done once a month at different places in the county so that young people can learn about it and get checked out. I think this method can also help make sure that the affected people know enough about how common STIs are in the county and how to avoid them.
Policy Most Wanted
I like the first option, which is to put an education program in schools for teens and young adults ages 18 to 24. With an education-based method, every student will be able to learn about the disease. The method will help people learn about the diseases for the rest of their lives, so many of them will know how to protect themselves. (Morales et al., 2018) There is evidence that school-based teaching works to teach responsible sexual behaviors like using protection and avoiding having more than one partner. The programs also make people more aware of how important screening is, which leads to more people going to the doctor. STI prevention is more likely to work with educational assistance than with the second option. I like the policy of using education for universities and colleges better than the policy of reaching out to the community because most of the students who are touched stay in school and don’t go out into the community. When compared to teaching about STIs in schools, which will make sure that every student takes the program, outreach services will not provide enough coverage.
How the new policy’s hoped-for results will improve health in the community
Health optimization is when self-regulating systems are used to deal with health problems. The goal of the proposed strategy is to give young people the tools they need to make good decisions about their sexual health. The new policy will help people in Washtenaw County make better decisions about their sexual health, which will improve their health. For instance, the community will have educated young people who are ready to speak out against bad sexual behavior. The program will also make sure that responsible people in the community are ready to get medical help when they need it. By raising knowledge, the number of STIs will go down, and the community will use less resources to deal with them.
Costs and benefits of proposed policy alternatives in terms of money
The CDC says that managing STDs in the US costs up to $16 billion a year in direct and secondary costs (CDC, 2016). There are also a lot of cases of death and major illness caused by STDs, and women are the most likely to be affected. The proposed strategy will make sure that the costs of health care for treatment go down. With the help of schooling, a lot of young people will be able to get medical care sooner, which will prevent problems that would otherwise lead to huge costs. The suggested policy will make sure that every young person between the ages of 18 and 24 gets sexual education, especially those in college.
When developing or changing a program in education, you need money to pay for the time you spend on the project and other costs. One example is the staff that schools need to teach students about sexual education and the materials that schools need to teach students. The new policy change will need a lot of money for it to be passed and for universities and schools to add the new policy to their current education programs. The most expensive part of providing the new curriculum will be paying for people. This is more expensive than designing the infrastructure, installing hardware, or buying supplies.
Two Moral Consequences of a Proposed Policy Alternative
Fidelity. (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2015) Fidelity is an ethical concept that guides nursing practice. A nurse must be faithful and true to their professional promises and responsibilities by giving high-quality, safe care in a competent way. The goal of the proposed strategy is to keep improving the health of teenagers through education and raising awareness. The sexual health public health nurse, the county public health officer, and the county public health director will work to uphold this ethical concept by dealing with STIs in the area.
Beneficence. This moral rule is about doing what is good and right for the patient (ANA, 2015). The goal of the suggested policy is to do the right thing for the public by making teens more aware of their sexual health. Through advocacy, the selected stakeholders will be able to push for an educational program to be added to universities and colleges in order to lower the number of STIs among young people.
Problems with Putting Forward Proposed Policy Alternative
Different problems are expected to come up when the new policy is put into place. Some of these problems include not knowing when the policy will change and how the new policy will be taught in schools. The process of changing the policy involves both the county and state governments. Because of different political interests and policy goals in the county, it will probably be hard to get the policy changed. Second, the new policy is both political and educational because it affects both the health and education sectors. It will be hard to add a new policy to an educational program that is already in place at all schools in the county. It will need to be looked at by the education industry, and the curriculum may need to be changed. Other things that could hurt the plan include sponsors not giving enough money, policymakers rejecting the idea, and parents and students not working together.
Methods of spreading the word about the proposed policy
Letters will be the first way that the policy brief will be shared with officials. The letters will explain why the new change is being made and how important it will be for the stakeholders to give their feedback in order to reach the goal. Second, I’ll send emails to lawmakers to ask for a meeting so I can explain the policy in more detail and show them facts that will make them more likely to agree with me. These ways of talking to lawmakers will let them know about the new policy and help get their attention.
Meetings are the other way that the whole plan will be shared. I will set up an educational meeting, either through Zoom or in person, to explain my plan in full. During the meeting, people will talk about the number of STIs in the county and the suggested evidence-based approach. There will be talks about different parts of the project, like how much it will cost, how the schools’ teaching will change, and how to support the policy. Phone calls and emails will be used to give regular information.
Possible Outcomes of Not Acting
In the United States, the number of people with sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis has gone up. People’s health and the business are both affected by these diseases in a big way. If the new policy isn’t put into place, the kids in Washtenaw county won’t have enough information about STIs. Because of this, there will be more cases in the future. With more cases, there will be more STIs that are dangerous, like syphilis, which is a major cause of death. Because the number of cases is going up, more money will have to be spent on treating STIs.
Change Agent Description
Nurses are agents of change when it comes to the clinical care of patients and the planning and development of policies. As a person who wants to make a difference, I did some study and found that sexual education in Washtenaw county isn’t going well. There were things that could have been done to stop the rise in STIs in the area, so I decided to make a policy to encourage healthy sexual behavior among young people. I needed to learn more about the policy issue, so I looked into evidence-based ways to solve the problem and key policymakers who could lead a change. I used my skills to come up with a convincing plan of action that involved getting politicians involved through good communication. I think the program will work and will help improve the sexual health of people in Washtenaw county.
How to Gain Knowledge and Skills
Leadership is the use of knowledge and skills to get other people to do what you want them to do. Throughout the project, I showed that I was a leader by being committed, speaking up for what I believed in, managing my time well, and communicating well. I think I need to work on working with people from different fields and keeping track of the results. I would like to work with people from different healthcare teams to help set goals and keep an eye on how things are going. Second, because I was too focused on the results, I didn’t keep a close eye on how the policy plan turned out. I learned that I need to work on evaluating my process and re-evaluating my goals every so often if I want to get better results.
American Nurses Association (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: Nursesbooks.org Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/ethics/code-of-ethics-for-nurses/coe-view-only/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Genital herpes – CDC fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/herpes-factsheet-july-2014.pdf
Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. (2016). NCHHSTP newsroom: Reported STDs at unprecedented high in the US. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2016/std-surveillance-report-2015-press-release.html
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. (2020). A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program: Michigan, Washtenaw (WA). Retrieved from https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/michigan/2020/rankings/washtenaw/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.-a). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.-b). Sexually transmitted infections. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/sexually-transmitted-diseases
Lee, L. M., Ortiz, S. E., Pavela, G., & Jennings, B. (2020). Public health code of ethics: Deliberative decision-making and reflective practice. American Journal of Public Health, 110, 489-491. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305568
Manlove, J., Fish, H., & Moore, K. A. (2015). Programs to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the US: A review of the evidence. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 6, 47. https://doi.org/10.2147/AHMT.S48054
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. (2020). STD trends in Michigan, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhhs/2010-2019_STD_trends_in_Michigan_tables_summary_697339_7.pdf
Morales, A., Espada, J. P., Orgilés, M., Escribano, S., Johnson, B. T., & Lightfoot, M. (2018). Interventions to reduce risk for sexually transmitted infections in adolescents: A meta-analysis of trials, 2008-2016. PloS One, 13(6), e0199421. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199421
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