Community Health Partnerships

Community: Social groups of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interest and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exist ( Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012). Community Health: Refers to the health status of a defined group of people, or community, and the actions and conditions that protect and improve the health of the community.

Those individuals who make up a community live in a somewhat localized area under the same general regulations, norms, values, and organizations. For example, the health status of the people living in a particular town, and the actions taken to protect and improve the health of these residents would constitute community health (Green & Ottoson, 1999). ). Community Health is the meeting of collective needs by identifying problems and managing behaviors within the community itself and between the community and the larger society (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012).

Community as Client: The concept of community as client is based on the assumption that community nursing practice is “community oriented,” seeking “healthful change for the whole community. The community is a client only when the nursing focus is on the collective of common good of the population instead of on individual health (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012).

Community Health Partnerships: defines as voluntary collaborations of diverse community organizations, which have joined forces in order to pursue a shared interest in improving community health. Community Health Partnerships differ from traditional community organizations in their mix of public and private members and they diverge from grass roots organizations with their inclusion of multiple constituents and stakeholders. (McKenzie & Smeltzer, 1997) Lay community members have a vested interest in the success of efforts to improve the health of their community. Lay community members who are recognized as community leaders also possess credibility and skills that health professionals lack. Therefore, successful strategies for improving community health must include community partnerships as the basic means, or key, for improvement (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012).

Overall impression of participating family’s community and environment is an inner suburb of New York City named Hackensack, New Jersey, a city in Bergan County, New Jersey. Located 12 miles north west of Midtown Manhattan and about seven miles from the George Washington Bridge, from a number of locations, you can see the New York City skyline. The Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University borders the Hackensack River. The city is known for a great diversity of neighborhoods and land uses existing in very close proximity of each other. Within its borders are a massive medical center, a trendy high-rise district about a mile long, classic suburban neighborhoods of single family homes, stately older homes on acre-plus lots, older two –family neighborhoods, large garden apartments complexes, industrial areas, the Bergan Count Jail, a tidal river, and Hackensack River County Park. Cultural Diversity and Vulnerable Populations present in the Community: The racial make-up of the city was White, African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Hispanic or Latino. My participating family consists of an African American woman C.R. 68 years young whose family lineage is African American and Dutch, shares a lovely suburban two- family home with her daughter K. R. who is 48 years young and her life partner S. M. who is thirty nine years young and a native of the British Virgin Islands. It is my understanding from the family that same sex households are most certainly part of the community as well as interracial couples.

The home is very nicely decorated, well-kept and the grounds are well manicured. The fact that the younger ladies are a same sex couple makes them part of a vulnerable population. I asked “if there were any prejudice or pressure they feel from the neighborhood regarding their lifestyle”? They both responded there is no pressure or prejudice put upon them. I must mention the time I have begun to spend with them, talking and observing their behaviors with one another, I have to say,” there is more love between the two of them than some heterosexual couples have in their little finger for each other” and they are not embarrassed by their life style nor do they hide who they are. They are both beautiful people inside and out. Aspects of the Community that could affect residents’ health: The factor in the community that could affect health is the fact that there are many industrial areas surrounding the communities. The chemicals, fumes, and gases that are put into the air of the community and inhaled by all potentially could be of danger to the community. The County Jail and the potential of escaped criminals pose a threat to the community; Flooding is a potential threat during hurricanes and storms. Reproductive and Sexual Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health is relevant to the community in that the goal is to maintain and improve health and well-being. LGBT individuals encompass all races and ethnicities, religions, and social classes. Eliminating health disparities and enhancing efforts to improve health are necessary to ensure that LGBT individuals can lead long healthy lives (healthy 2020),

Green, L.W., Ottoson, J. M. (1999). Community and Population Health, (8th ed.) Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill McKenzie, J. F., Smeltzer, J.L. (1997). Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Promotion Programs: A Primer; (2nd ed.), Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Stanhope, M., Lancaster, J. (2008) (8th ed,). Population-Centered Health Care in the Community. St. Louis, MO.

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