Miami Coral Way’s Public Health Issues


Despite the existence of a well-developed infrastructure, the community of Coral Way, Miami, has several public health issues identified by a windshield survey. The following paper analyzes the issues pertaining to the health barriers experienced by people with disabilities, lists relevant local organizations, and outlines the role of community health nurses in alleviating the issue.

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Vulnerable Population Overview

The vulnerable group identified in the windshield survey is people with disabilities. The group in question has been proven to require increased public attention in terms of the effect on public health. The most apparent reason for this is the increased likelihood of reporting a poor health status than the general population (Nicholson et al., 2013). It is important to understand that a disability is a broad term that includes a wide range of conditions, in which a certain physical or mental health condition is known to have an adverse impact on the individuals’ ability to interact with their immediate environment on an adequate level. This aspect of disability was the chief factor responsible for the identification of difficulties experienced by the vulnerable local population, namely the observed lack of handicapped accessibility in the local structures and transportation systems. According to recent estimates, a growing number of the world’s population is known to suffer from some form of disability, experiencing noticeable difficulties in everyday life.

Several recent trends have contributed to the prevalence of the condition. First, the increasing proportion of the aging population in the developed countries has resulted in the increased occurrence of the disability associated with the gradual decline of systems. In addition, the list of potential contributors to the condition has been expanded in recent decades, leading to significant diversification of disability types. Finally, the expansion in the scope of responsibilities of healthcare organizations combined with the increased need for health care has led to a situation where a significant part of the vulnerable population in question does not receive the required treatment, thus increasing the proportion of a population with unmet health needs.

Strengths, Risk Factors, and/or Barriers

The chief characteristic responsible for the inability of people with disabilities to maintain the desired state of health is the inability to interact with the environment. However, several additional barriers and risk factors are known to exacerbate the situation. One of the most apparent barriers is a social stigma associated with the condition. In recent years, effective treatments have been developed that address the majority of mental disabilities. Nevertheless, the impacted population engages in the available interventions relatively infrequently due to the combination of public and self-perception about the condition (Corrigan, Druss, & Perlick, 2014). To address the identified barrier, numerous strategies have been devised and implemented that are intended to counteract the effects of stigma through cultural competence, health literacy, and family engagement (Corrigan et al., 2014). While these strategies are yet to produce practically meaningful effects, their availability can be considered a mitigating factor for one of the most significant barriers to addressing the needs of the vulnerable population.

Another important barrier is associated with healthy lifestyle choices. The most apparent example is the tendency to avoid regular physical exercise observed among people with disabilities. While the positive effect of participation in sports activities has been conclusively established, it is still common to observe the lack of motivation and engagement among individuals with physical disabilities. According to Jaarsma, Dijkstra, Geertzen, and Dekker (2014), such discrepancy can be attributed to a combination of environmental factors, such as lack of accessibility, scarcity of suitable facilities, inadequate transportation, and personal ones, such as state of health and specificities of disabilities. The researchers suggest creating individualized training programs for different scenarios (Jaarsma et al., 2014). Such an approach is expected to increase sports participation among the vulnerable population.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that the identified barriers can be addressed by the existence of motivators. According to the systematic review by Nicholson et al. (2013), the most common motivators are the need to perform routine tasks without restrictions and social support from peers and dedicated organizations. While these motivators definitely constitute strengths that impact vulnerable populations, it should be acknowledged that their mitigating effect is countered by a number of barriers, such as health concerns, lack of motivation, impairments, and a number of environmental factors. In other words, it remains unclear whether these motivators are sufficient to produce an overall positive effect on the engagement of people with disabilities in healthy lifestyles.

Community Resources

The community of Coral Way has several organizations and groups that provide assistance to people with disabilities. One of these organizations is the Children’s Trust – a non-profit organization that aims to improve the well-being of children across Florida. The organization provides funding for events and educational programs, including a recent event intended to improve knowledge of families with representatives of the vulnerable population about the useful resources and systems available in the location. The organization specifies the removal of barriers between children with disabilities and those without as one of their objectives. However, as can be seen from the description above, the support offered to adults with disabilities is scarce and unsystematic.

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Another valuable community resource is a local office of the Alzheimer’s Association, which offers counseling, support, and guidance for individuals suffering from mental disabilities. The organization’s services include care plans, consultation on relevant communication techniques, and stress management. The consultation services are available in English and Spanish and can be translated into a number of languages using the organization’s resources. Due to the specificities of the condition, the association is oriented primarily to the older population.

Community Health Problem Diagnosis

As can be seen from the information above, one of the chief issues identified in the community is the lack of accessibility in housing and transportation systems. Thus, the most relevant Healthy People 2020 objective is DH-8, which aims at reducing the proportion of the vulnerable population that has difficulties accessing local health and wellness resources. In addition, it should be noted that while two organizations have been identified that are expected to address the issue, both essentially tackle the problem in a piecemeal fashion and do not demonstrate consistency in their approach.

From this standpoint, it would be reasonable to expect that the involvement of community health nurses has the potential of improving the situation. This can be achieved on the individual and organizational levels. The former can be done through the development of individualized care plans that acknowledge specific needs of impacted individuals, whereas the latter may improve consistency through the coordinated effort and partnership with related community organizations.


According to the results of a windshield survey and the information available in scholarly sources, the key factors that affect the health of people with disabilities are social stigmatization, lack of motivation, and scarcity of resources and necessary facilities. In addition, the available local organizations lack the focus and consistency of interventions. Thus, a coordinated effort from local community health nurses is necessary to improve the situation and equip the impacted population with the necessary knowledge and social skills.


Corrigan, P. W., Druss, B. G., & Perlick, D. A. (2014). The impact of mental illness stigma on seeking and participating in mental health care. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 15(2), 37-70.

Jaarsma, E. A., Dijkstra, P. U., Geertzen, J. H. B., & Dekker, R. (2014). Barriers to and facilitators of sports participation for people with physical disabilities: A systematic review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 24(6), 871-881.

Nicholson, S., Sniehotta, F. F., Wijck, F., Greig, C. A., Johnston, M., McMurdo, M. E.,… Mead, G. E. (2013). A systematic review of perceived barriers and motivators to physical activity after stroke. International Journal of Stroke, 8(5), 357-364.

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