Epidemiology: Healthy People 2020 in the United States

Table of Contents

The health status of a community or a particular population is commonly exposed to a number of factors that determine the most prevalent health-related problems given group experiences. While human health is dependent on social, environmental, political, and demographic indicators, the health improvement interventions should align with the most frequently occurring issues in order to resolve them, thus improving the health quality of people. The goals that are identified in accordance with the leading health indicators constitute a core of community-based initiatives. The general health-related issues in the United States are addressed through the Healthy People 2020 initiative that leads the health assessment and improvement interventions across the country. At the same time, each community encounters specific challenges and, therefore, requires specifically designed action plans aimed at the elimination of hazardous health determinants. In Miami, Florida, the particularities of community-based problems are influenced by demographic characteristics, socio-political, and environmental conditions. Indeed, since the community is comprised of national minorities, their health needs are represented in the community-based interventions.

Healthy People 2020 Health Indicators and Goals

The Healthy People 2020 initiative works on the assessment, analysis, and action plan development for the most commonly occurring tentative health problems on a national scale. These issues are prevalent across the country at, to a particular extent, are present in every community. Among the most significant public health concerns identified by Healthy People 2020 (2020) is access to health care, environmental quality, substance abuse, tobacco addiction, as well as specific illnesses, including cancer, obesity, and mental health problems.

These issues remain pertinent at present and require persistent work of community-based organizations, clinics, hospitals, social workers, and other stakeholders in order to minimize the harmful effects of these problems and maintain a high quality of health in the US population.

Miami, Florida 33101 Community-based Problems

As for the particular problems in the Miami community, it is essential to note that Miami and the state of Florida are constituted of a large minority population. Indeed, according to Healthy people 2020 (2014), “19% African-American and 65.6% Hispanic or Latino residents” live in Miami-Dade County (para. 1). The health concerns of these populations significantly influence the scope of community-based initiatives. When identifying the three most influential health problems in Miami, one should list obesity, tobacco, and access to health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n. d.; Healthy People 2020, 2014). Obesity and tobacco use are the issues that most commonly lead to increased morbidity, high mortality among the impacted individuals. As for access to health, national minority-induced disparities manifested through inadequate language skills and poverty obstruct African Americans’ and Hispanic population’s relevant access to health services.

Access to health is one of the key aspects of qualitative and timely diagnostics and treatment of diseases. Without proper examination on a regular basis, community members are deprived of the opportunities to obtain health-related information, participate in preventative measures, and receive qualitative care when needed. Indeed, as stated by Healthy People 2020 (2014), in some neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County, the percentage of the uninsured population reaches as high as almost 40%, which is one of the highest indicators across the USA. Therefore, community-based interventions in Miami-Dade county aim to improve underserved populations’ access to health care. The Neighborhood HELP program initiates students and volunteers to work on providing resources and support to uninsured people of the community (Healthy People 2020, 2014). As for the goals planned to achieve in the future in regards to access to health, it is planned to initiate promotional procedures to encourage insurance in underserved populations. Also, more community-based programs are planned to be implemented in more districts of Miami to broaden the scope of the target population.

The second tentative health-related issue in Miami is obesity. According to the CDC (n. d.), “the rate of obesity and overweight adults in the county is 67.4%” (para. 1). In addition, 13% of high-school students suffer from obesity, and only 12% participate in physical education classes or have regular physical activity (CDC, n. d.). This rate is higher than the country’s average indicator and calls for action from the side of the involved stakeholders. Importantly, excessive weight is one of the main causes of comorbidities in the cardiovascular system, diabetes, and other diseases. Indeed, as the University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics (2019) statistically demonstrates, heart disease is the main cause of death in Miami-Dade County and constitutes one of the most significant health concerns. Therefore, the implementation of effective measures to promote healthy weight in the population is a key factor in promoting better health in the community.

Much has been achieved in promoting regular physical training and weight management in the community. CDC (n. d.) reports that approximately “2,700 staff members in approximately 960 childcare centers and programs on nutrition and physical activity” were trained and prepared to improve the situation (para. 5). Also, healthy meals are provided in schools, bicycle tracks, and sports grounds are built. As for the planned actions, much effort is intended to be put into the reduction of “cardiovascular disease and improve quality of life by promoting recommended levels of physical activity” (Florida Health, 2020, para. 8). It is also planned to promote weight management, healthy nutrition, and diet, minimize the cases of high blood pressure, prevent the increased level of cholesterol, and control diabetes (Florida Health, 2020). These actions are expected to provide better health outcomes for the community population and reduce the number of health threats.

Finally, the third health problem identified in Miami is tobacco use. Similarly to obesity, smoking remains one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality. The analyzed community is significantly impacted by the problem, which is manifested through a high level of smoking population and the increased occurrence of lung diseases, including cancer (Florida Health, 2020). However, as well as obesity, the tobacco problem is preventable (CDC, n. d.). Much educational, preventative, and promotional work has been done under the guidance of the initiative. The goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative is to “reduce the burden of chronic diseases related to tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke” (Florida Health, 2020, para. 9). Thus, the achievement of this goal will contribute to the reduction of lung and heart disease cases and improve the overall quality of life of the community.

Conclusion

In summary, Healthy People 2020 identifies a variety of health problems and develops attainable action plans to combat them. As for Miami, three main problems related to health were identified, namely, obesity, tobacco use, and access to health. All of them are the leading causes of underdiagnosis, morbidity, disability, and mortality in the region. Taking into account the severity of manifestation of theses problems in Miami due to the social and demographic determinants, effective action plans are implemented.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n. d.). , Florida. Web.

Florida Health. Healthy people 2020. Web.

Healthy People 2020. (2014). NeighborhoodHELP™ engages underserved communities to increase health care access. Web. 

Healthy People 2020. . Web. 

University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics. (2019). Community health needs assessment. Web. 

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