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A Community Health Action Plan

Introduction

Health People 2010 constitute major health goals and objectives that the Nation formulated and its achievement was framed to be realized during the first decade of the new century. As a comprehensive health plan, Health People 2010 contain wide and systematic health promotion and prevention framework that has about 467 health improvement objectives (Royall, 2010). In addition, the health plan contains 434 sub-objectives largely in the 28-focus area (Royall, 2010). In summary, the plan is framed upon these objectives: increase quality and years of healthy life; elimination of health disparities; support for federal health initiatives of realizing healthier USA; appropriate and direct actions for broad improvements in individual, community, and national health (Royall, 2010). Promotion and realization of Health People 2010 objectives have become one of the preoccupations of Oklahoma State in the USA. To realize these goals, this research paper will outline a Community Health Action plan that can guide the state in achieving the health goals.

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History and demographic composition of Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of the many States in the United State of America. The State is located in the southern part of the USA and the translation of the word Oklahoma means a place of red people as the majority of residents have Indian origin. In terms of population statistics undertaken in 2010, it was revealed that the state has about 3,751,351 people and this was seen to exhibit significant growth over the years (Infoplease, 2011). The demographic composition of the state is varied as the majority of ethnic groups in the state include blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, and American Indians (Infoplease, 2011).

Description of the population

As it has been outlined in the population and demographic composition of Oklahoma, Latinos constitute one of the major groups in the State. According to recent census bureau statistics, Oklahoma has more Hispanic (Latinos) than American Indians (Anonymous, 2011). Accordingly, estimates indicate that about 3.75 million residents in the state, which is about 9%, identify as Hispanic or Latino, who outnumber American Indians who statistics indicate to be 8.5% (Anonymous, 2011).

Needs of the Latino population in Oklahoma

The diverse needs of Latinos in Oklahoma can be captured from the overall problems and challenges the population of this state faces. The challenges range from lack of good eating habits, unsafe environments that promote disease, infant mortality at high rates as compared to the overall American rate, communicable disease, increase usage of tobacco, increased heart attacks, and premature death (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics 2011). The increased infant mortality rate has been associated with poor maternal services and the existence of racial and ethnic disparities in health provision for expectant mothers in the state (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics 2011). Moreover, in Oklahoma, statistics indicate that 27% of reproductive women are uninsured, those with obesity are estimated to be 27%, those smoking estimated to be 26% and those subjected to poverty are estimated to constitute 19% (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics, 2011).

When compared to national statistics, it becomes clear that the state’s Latino population exhibit greater percentages of smoking and obesity. For example, the national statistics for women smoking stands at 19.6% compared to Oklahoma Latinos at 27.3% (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics, 2011). Regarding obesity, the national statistics stand at 24.4% while that of Oklahoma is estimated to be 30.8% (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics, 2011). Overall, the population of Oklahoma and specifically the Latinos can be said to be faced with health challenges manifested in increased heart disease, cerebrovascular disease deaths, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and high levels of diabetes.

Available services

The state of Oklahoma is credited with having some of the community and health services for its population. The state has a comprehensive Community Action program, which continues to improve the living standards of the different groups of people in the state. At the same time, the Community Agency of Oklahoma formed in 1965 has provided help to the population in terms of social and economic empowerment of the less disadvantaged in the community (Community Action Partnership, 2011). Health centers are also part of the state together with two pharmacies. The location of these two has been strategic to ensure that they are accessible to the majority of people. To add to the existing health services, the state has several recreational services especially at Fort Gibson Stockade (Infoplease, 2011). The place prides itself on having numerous playing grounds, health clubs, and the availability of bike trails.

In ensuring good health is promoted in the state, key stakeholders in the state have been involved in designing and implementing comprehensive health programs that are based on sex, race-ethnicity, and gender (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics, 2011). About infant mortality rate, the state has employed strategies to reduce this rate and one way of achieving this has been through increased immunization, which has posted positive results across ethnic groups. By the year 2001, almost 77% of children in the state had undergone immunization, which was an increase of 5% as compared to the previous data (Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics, 2011).

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Approaches and Interventions

Tackling the health challenges of Latinos in Oklahoma should be the priority of all stakeholders concerned. For instance, to achieve Health People 2010, health promotion and prevention must be key issues to be planned for and implemented. To ensure positive results, there is a need to address all the primary, secondary and tertiary intervention strategies that are appropriate and effective. At the same time, it has been noted that for interventions programs for people of color to be successful, there is a paramount need for prevention strategies to put into consideration the cultural factors that must interact with the issues of gender and beliefs of the people.

Primary interventions

Some of the primary prevention strategies already exist in Oklahoma and what needs to be done is improvement in the existing primary strategies to enhance and increase chances of realizing the goals of the strategies. Given obesity has been identified as a health issue among the population, there is a concerted effort at the moment to encourage the population to undertake more physical exercises, adapt and improve their diet by taking in more fruits and vegetables, and subsequently reducing the amount of tobacco use. Therefore, playing fields and zones need to be increased, people need to be encouraged to participate in more walking than driving activities, bike riding needs to be encouraged and overall, good eating habits need to be encouraged and promoted among the population. If the people in the community will adopt a healthier lifestyle and behaviors chances are there will be reduced cases of chronic illness and premature mortality, thus increasing longevity and quality of life.

About the increased mortality rate, there is a call for a reduction of death cases. The primary way to achieve reduction goals can be through improved vaccines programs and immunization. There is a need for parents of infants to be encouraged and educated on the importance of vaccines for their children and on the need to undertake immunization of their children.

Secondary interventions

Secondary prevention programs build from the primary prevention strategies. In most cases, secondary prevention strategies constitute the formalized state of primary prevention programs. In Oklahoma, secondary strategies should address the social, gender, sex, and ethnic disparity in health and health prevention programs. Moreover, the programs should benefit from the enriched effort of multiple stakeholders in the state. Therefore, programs like Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust are vital in ensuring the number of tobacco users goes down systematically. To achieve greater results the program should be improved in such a way as being designed with policies that are more effective to undertake all-around tobacco-free education programs in Oklahoma schools, universities, and businesses. More so, the creation of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Ensure program is welcome but there is a need for improvements to be undertaken in terms of increasing coverage rate and sub-ethnic groups of Latinos. Obesity education programs together with physical education programs should also be designed with greater emphasis on flexibility as the cultural orientation of Latinos may posit.

Tertiary interventions

The creation of a tertiary program will also help realize the health goals for Latinos in Oklahoma. For this to be made effective and achievable there is a need for stakeholders especially in healthcare to take an active role in designing a partnership health framework for the state that addresses and recommends solutions to the various identified health instances among the population. The overall created health program should be able to achieve positive impacts on the health of the people in the state.

Conclusion

Identification of social health determinants among Latinos of Oklahoma is important. Subsequently, the identification should be followed by a well-designed treatment and prevention strategy that the overall goal should be to improve Oklahoma’s overall health status. Compared to USA health statistics, Oklahoma still exhibits high rates of health problems; thus, to achieve Health People 2010 goals and objectives, there is a need for the accelerated effort of multiple stakeholders in the state.

References

Anonymous. (2011). Hispanics outnumber American Indian population in Oklahoma. Indiaz.com. Web.

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Community Action Partnership. (2011). Community Services. Web.

Infoplease. (2011). Oklahoma. Web.

Oklahoma State Department of Health center for Health Statistics. (2011).Diseases Fact Sheet. Web.

Royall, P. S. (2010). Building a healthier world with healthy people 2010. USA Department of Health and Human Services. Web.

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