THE CONCEPT OF HEALTH ISSUES

  1. Health Issues

A survey was conducted to obtain information on the health concerns of the Hispanic Americans living in California. The survey included 10 volunteers from the Hispanic community living in Los Angeles, randomly picked from the streets and residential areas with an even distribution across the city. Only adults were involved in the survey to ensure that the respondents had the basic appropriate understanding of health issues. Distribution across the coverage area and random identification of respondents were considered to ensure that the survey reflected high confidence levels. Four areas of health concerns were involved in the short survey, each having a few questions for consideration (Appendix 1).

Firstly, the survey sought to understand the main health issues affecting the Hispanic American community in Los Angeles. This section also sought to enumerate on the specific causes of the health concerns among the respondents. From the survey, it was apparent that the main health concerns for the Hispanic Americans are heart conditions and diseases (4/10), brain diseases and conditions such as stroke and depression (3/10), lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and hypertension (2/10), and malignancies mainly cancer and carcinoma (1/10).

Secondly, questions touching on the community strengths to offer health care to this population were asked and the respondents unanimously felt that the community was ill prepared to cater for the special health needs of Hispanic Americans. One of the respondents is on record citing the social exclusion factors that the community faces as the main reason for the lack of special health services designed for the community (Gonzalez, February 25, 2012).

Thirdly, the respondents were asked if there were particular gaps in the provision of the special health services needed by the community. Literacy levels and poverty were identified as the causative factors for the apparent gap in provision of the needed health services (7/10). Social exclusion and stereotypes held among the members of the Hispanic American community were also identified as contributing factors for the service provision gap (3/10).

Finally, the survey sought to find out the role of nursing in the community’s health service provision. All the respondents were unanimous (9/10) that the role of nursing in the provision of health services was indispensable and invaluable. A minority of the respondents (1/10) had other sources of traditional healing power.

From the responses above, it was clear that the general minority tag that the rest of the Hispanic American community in the United States applies in California to a large extent. The most dominant theme in the challenges affecting the community is similar to the other maligned communities in the American demographics profile. Poverty associated issues affecting uptake of health care sidelines the community to be among the least covered communities in health care service provision. Socioeconomic and political factors equally present the community with challenges of presentation in welfare programs that can assist in health care improvement.

  1. Health Agencies

There is a good number of health service agencies in California designed to improve health care provision to the Hispanic American community living in the state. Three of these agencies are briefly discussed below.

Firstly, the Network for a Healthy California- Latino Campaign offers public health services to the California community of the Hispanic origin. Services offered include child welfare, mental health, food stamps, substance and drug abuse treatment as well as vocational rehabilitation services (CHHS, 2007). Focus of health service provision for this agency is health promotion with some element of primary prevention. The rationale of this categorization is based on the fact that the general approach for the agency is the highlight on child health and other primary concerns such as rehabilitation as illustrated above.

Secondly, the Latino Behavioral Institute based in Los Angeles offers various services targeting the Hispanic community and other disadvantaged groups. Services provided target behavior change for the Hispanic populations with regard to health concerns faced by the communities. Drug and substance abuse forms the main target for the agency but other social health concerns such as family life and other occupational needs for behavior change. Health promotion and primary prevention therefore constitute the bulk of health input and contributions made by the institute due to the special focus on behavior therapy (LBHI, 2010).

Thirdly, the Alliance for Latino Behavioral Health Workforce Development, which has a national outlook, has roots and establishment in Los Angeles for the Hispanic community mental health issues. Main services offered by this agency are gathering professional assistance and advocacy for the mental health wellbeing of the Hispanic community not only in California but also in the entire country. Workforce development is the main area of focus for the agency with special attention to mental health for the community. It is therefore largely a secondary prevention agency due to its focus on mental, psychological and behavior wellbeing of the Hispanic community (Acosta and Loera, 2011).

References

Acosta, H. & Loera, G. (2011). “Alliance for Latino Behavioral Health Workforce Development: A National Movement in the Making,” Retrieved from: http://www.nrchmh.org/attachments/lbhi914plenary.pdf

CHHS (2007). “Network for a Healthy California- Latino Campaign,” Retrieved from: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/CPNS/Pages/LatinoCampaign.aspx

LBHI (2010). “Latino Behavioral Health Institute: 17th Annual Latino Conference,” Retrieved from: http://lbhi.org/

 

 

Appendix 1

Questionnaire

  1. What are the main health concerns that the Hispanic Community in Los Angeles suffer from?
  2. How strong is the community response in offering health services to the health needs among the Hispanic Communities?
  3. What are main causes of gaps in health care provision to the Hispanic community in Los Angeles?
  4. What is the level of importance for nursing in meeting health needs of the Hispanic community in Los Angeles?

(Respondents who wished their names mentioned in the survey’s report were asked for consent, as was the case for Pablo Rodriguez whose views are included above)


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