Health Program Assessment Essay

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Health Program Assessment: Inequality in Philadelphia Communities How long have you lived in your community?

I have been a Philadelphia resident for 23 years, during which time I have come face-to-face with a wide array of pressing public health issues. As a recent article by Melwert (2012) shows, Philadelphia is routinely ranked as the least healthy county in the State of Pennsylvania.

What do you believe are the greatest health issues that exist within your community and who are the populations you believe are most impacted by these health issues?

The population that concerns us most is the youth demographic. In Philadelphia, young people between the ages of 1 and 19 are at the highest risk for certain prevailing health challenges. Additionally, based on the findings from our interviews with local residents, the vast majority of youths in high-risk categories are of African-American or Hispanic ethnicity. There are yet further divisions within this risk population where different age groups must contend with different health risk indexes.

For instance, among younger community members, one of our greatest concerns relates to environmental health. Children between the ages of 1 and 7 are at a high risk for exposure to lead in our community. Additionally, environmental factors have contributed to a preponderance of emergent asthma cases in the community, impacting community members as young as one-year-old. There are yet additional health risks...

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For those between the ages of 13 and 19, our public health program must concern itself with the growing issue of childhood obesity, the apparent frequency in cases of ADHD and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
What are two barriers that exist within your community that you feel could negatively influence these health issues (e.g., no public parks, pollution from a particular factory, no major hospitals or grocery stores)?

Two barriers seem to have the most determinant impact on health considerations for the selected population. These relate to housing and popular health beliefs. For the former, the issues of asthma and exposure to lead are mutually impacted by the permeation of air pollution in impacted neighborhoods. The age of many homes, which are frequently more than 60 years old, is a direct contributor to the spread of these health conditions. With respect to issues such as childhood obesity or the spread of STDs, the greatest obstacle to improving public health is a dearth of knowledge on how certain health behaviors induce a higher level of personal risk.

Why…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Health People 2020. CDC.gov.

Melwert, J. (2012). Philadelphia Unhealthiest Country in Pennsylvania. CBS Philly.


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