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Heart Disease and Stroke in Miami-Dade County

Promoting improvements in healthcare services is crucial to the well-being of the community members. The Healthy People 2020 has created a range of opportunities for making healthcare more efficient and patient outcomes more successful. However, communication and care affordability problems in Miami-Dade may hinder the successful implementation of the Healthy People 2020 objectives and improving patient outcomes. By focusing on patient-centered care and encouraging patient education among the target population members, at the same time making the services more affordable, one will be able to address the problem successfully.

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Heart Disease and Stroke in Miami-Dade and the Healthy People 2020 Goals

According to recent reports, heart disease and stroke (HDS) remains one of the top leading death causes in Miami-Dade, FL (“County health profile,” 2015). The total death toll reached the threateningly high level of 153.6 in 2015.

The identified information sets HDS on par with cancer as one of the greatest threats to the well-being of the Miami-Dade population. Among the reasons for the problem to remain topical, the lack of patient education and access to care for vulnerable groups needs to be mentioned. The identified phenomenon shows that Miami-Dade does not meet the goals set by the Healthy People 2020 initiative, which suggests that access to care and patient education, among other tools, should be used as the means of preventing and managing the instances of HDS (“Heart disease and stroke,” 2017).

Cost to the Healthcare System and Possible Risk Factors

There is no need to stress that HDS is a major concern for the representatives of the Florida Healthcare System, as well as the healthcare system of the U.S.., in general (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015, par. 1). Thus, the cost of HDS to the healthcare system is very high. The development of HDS can be spurred by a range of factors. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, a wrong diet, carotid artery disease, atrial fibrillation, sickle cell disease, and other conditions that affect the functioning of the patient’s heart may lead to HDS (Yeates et al., 2015). Age, weight, and the presence of diabetes are typically viewed as the key risk factors, though race and gender may also impact the patient outcome (African Americans and women are more likely to be affected by the disease) (Go et al., 2017).

Role of a Public Health Nurse: Opportunities for Managing the Issue

In the instance of addressing a HDS problem among the residents of Miami-Dade, the role of a nurse boils down to making care and the related services affordable to the vulnerable population, as well as educating the latter about the issue of HDS, its identification, management, and prevention (Go et al., 2017). Adherence to treatment guidelines should also be viewed as the primary task of nurses as the means of delivering the care of the best quality to the target population. In addition, raising awareness among the minorities may be the appropriate initiative for handling the concern. Considering low-cost opportunities for medical treatment as the means of making care affordable for the poor and low-income residents of Miami-Dade should also be included in the range of nurses’ responsibilities.

Interdisciplinary Approach: Description

To address the issue, one may have to consider creating an interdisciplinary team of experts. Promoting collaboration in the interdisciplinary context is crucial to the enhancement of the care quality. A registered nurse can educate patients by offering essential information to the target population and engaging them in a dialogue in social networks. A therapist will provide the treatment options and give counseling to the vulnerable population. The collaboration with the ICU department, in turn, will allow managing the imminent threats to the patients that are critically ill. Consistent communication between the team members is crucial, which is why the active use of the latest IT tools as the means of patient data transfer (e.g., during bedside handovers) must be encouraged.

Needs of the Vulnerable Population: The Poor, Women, Minorities, and the Imprisoned

As stressed above, there are several population groups in Miami-Dade that are in dire need of help when it comes to HDS management and prevention. The subject matter affects women, impoverished people, ethnic and racial minorities, and inmates (Yeates et al., 2015). In most cases, the identified groups require better options for accessing healthcare and the related services. HDS contributes to a steep rise in the number of deaths among the vulnerable population (Yeates et al., 2015).

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Therefore, each of the groups mentioned above is in dire need of being educated about the subject matter. Opportunities for receiving the essential information about HDS, including the symptoms that can be recognized at the earliest stages of the disease, the sources of the available information, the ways of contacting nurses, etc. Thus, the threat of severe health consequences can be reduced significantly.

Impacts of Barriers to Healthcare Access and Other Challenges to Improvements

As stressed above, the problems with accessing the existing healthcare resources can be viewed as the primary barrier to addressing the issue successfully. The representatives of the impoverished population, as well as children and prisoners, have a vague idea of the issue of HDS and the threats that it poses to their well-being. Furthermore, the lack of awareness among the target population can be considered a reason for concern. Finally, the language barrier that some of the ethnic minorities may have when communicating with nurses affects the quality and timeliness of the received services to a considerable degree, making the process of recovery less likely.

Article Summary: Improving Patient Outcomes among the Representatives of Vulnerable Groups

A recent article reviewing the problem of HDS in the context of the global environment, the paper by Yeates et al. (2015) allows exploring the nature of the health issue and determining how it evolves in the context of the globalized environment. Yeates et al. (2015) point to the fact that two approaches toward the management of the problem exist, i.e., the primordial and primary prevention. The latter implies managing the effects of risk factors on the vulnerable population, whereas the former demands that the risk factors themselves should be eliminated. Task sharing and the connection between research and action are also promoted as the promising tools for handling the problem and improving patient outcomes.

Managing the Crucial Data: Information Technology and Its Use in Increasing Community Awareness Levels

One must as well give credit to the opportunities that modern IT tools open in front of nurses, though. Social networks take a special place in the list of the devices that should be utilized as the means of reducing the HDS incidences among the target population. Particularly, modern media can be used to engage children, women, and ethnic minorities in the process of acquiring and transferring essential information about health management and the means of detecting, preventing, and addressing HDS (Fletcher et al., 2013).

Conclusion: Current Health Challenges for Miami-Dade

HDS remains one of the leading causes of death in Miami-Dade and, therefore, one of the primary concerns of nurses. Making healthcare services affordable and available to all members of the vulnerable population is a crucial step toward improving patient outcomes and reducing the death toll. Therefore, the current focus must be kept on exploring cheap and efficient treatment options, information management, and patient education.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Heart disease and stroke cost America nearly $1 billion a day in medical costs, lost productivity. Web.

County health profile. (2015). Web.

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Fletcher, G. F., Ades, P. A., Kligfield, P., Arena, R., Balady, G. J., Bittner, V. A., … Williams, M. A. (2013). A new standard for exercise: It is time to move it to make it a high-level priority. Circulation, 128(8), 873-934. Web.

Go, A. S., Mozaffarian, D., Roger, V. L., Benjamin, E. J., Berry, J. D., Blaha, M. J.,… Turner, M. B. (2017). Heart disease and stroke statistics – 2014 update. Circulation, 129(3), 28-292. Web.

Heart disease and stroke. (2017). Web.

Yeates, K., Lohfeld, L., Sleeth, J., Morales, F., Rajkotia, Y., & Ogedegbe, O. (2015). A global perspective on cardiovascular disease in vulnerable populations. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 31(9), 1081-1093. Web.

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