The residents of Miami experience several significant socioeconomic and health disparities. For example, as reported by Miami-Dade County, the federal poverty level reaches around 20% (“2019 community,” 2019). Simultaneously, the same average rate for Florida, in general, is about 14% (“2019 community,” 2019). For ethnic and racial minorities, these rates are further exaggerated. For instance, approximately 33% of African Americans and about 20% of Hispanics’ income rate is below the federal poverty line (“Community health,” 2019). Such a disadvantage level is a serious challenge to healthcare and health utilization.
The Resources for Assessment
The primary two resources enabling a researcher to complete a community assessment are the “2019 Community Health Assessment Miami-Dade County, Florida Prepared by Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County June 30, 2019” and the Uhealth’s “Community Health Needs Assessment 2019-2021.” Additionally, a group of 20 students was surveyed according to Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns framework with the following results:
- Health perception and management: no history of chronic illnesses; propensity to stress caused by studying; immunization with all the vaccines; no use of injectable drugs or smoking/chewing tobacco, moderate alcohol consumption.
- Nutritional-metabolic: good appetite, proper food intake, and water consumption; digestion and metabolism are affected by stress.
- Elimination: no issues.
- Activity-Exercise: no regime of regular exercising.
- Sleep and rest pattern: no severe insomnia issues excluding those caused by stress; over 5 hours of sleep.
- Cognitive-Perceptual: excellent auditory and sensory adequacy, learning ability, memory, and orientation.
- Self-Perception and self-concept patterns: around half of the responders suffer from low self-esteem, self-doubt, and recurrent depression.
- Roles and relationships: smooth coping with the arising family and friend issues without breaking the bonds.
- Coping-Stress tolerance pattern: about 20% of the group suffers from stress facing new challenges and environment. They primarily cope with it by talking to friends or family members.
- Sexuality and reproduction: no issues.
- Values-Beliefs: 100% strong religious position and a set of personal and professional goals.
The Community’s Strengths
The revealed strengths of Miamis community are as follows:
|Well-child clinic available||There are several medical institutes providing healthcare and dental services, regardless of people’s solvency.|
|Feeding program accessible to older adults||“Seniors at least 60 years old and homebound can receive free meals at home through the Meals on Wheels Program. In addition, seniors that are not homebound are eligible to receive meals at one of the 21 locations throughout Miami-Dade County” (“Meals for,” n.d.).|
|Sex education in schools acceptable||“Meanwhile, 36% of students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools receive one or no days of sex education, according to the Miami Workers’ Center” (Wheeler-Hollis, 2019).|
|Family planning services accessible||yes|
|Fluoridated water system||“In 2016, 72.8% of the U.S. population on community water systems had access to fluoridated water, according to the CDC” (“Community water,” n.d.).|
|Adequate kitchen and plumbing facilities||yes|
|High interest of key leaders in health promotion||yes|
Potential Barriers and Solutions
One of the main barriers is access to care due to the high cost of insurance coverage utilization. There are increased wait times for the providers of primary care. Hence, there is a need for the integration of advanced practice. The necessity of government funding and regulations is a chief barrier in meeting the community’s needs. The lack of physical space within the hospitals might be solved through partnerships of hospitals and institutions focused on health outreach and education.
Moreover, such alliances are likely to result in increased access to wellness and health education, research trials, and clinical programs for vulnerable layers of populations. The physicians should take enough time to examine the patients thoroughly and administer the appropriate treatment. The social determinants such as accessing the cost, transportation, and other resources should be addressed more efficiently by the healthcare providers.
Community health needs assessment. (2019). UHealth.
Community water fluoridation. (n.d.). Florida Health.
Meals for the elderly. (n.d.). Miami-Dade County.
Wheeler-Hollis, C. (2019). South Florida schools often emphasize abstinence over sex education. Miami Montage.