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: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service

Application: Factors Contributing to Health Disparities and Ways to Address Them.

The Healthy People 2020 objectives and the Millennium Goals are two ambitious approaches to addressing the disparities found in vulnerable populations. In this Application Assignment, you will determine factors that contribute to health disparities, how culture impacts treatment in healthcare, and how the goals and objectives plan to reduce or eliminate health disparities.

To prepare for this Application Assignment, review the following (with your Healthy People assigned focus area in mind):

  • The definition of culture and articles relating to how culture impacts treatment in healthcare are posted in the Doc Sharing area under Week 3 helpful articles
  • Pages 24–41 of your textbook about the objectives that relate to health care in general and, more specifically, health disparities.
  • The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009 http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/MDG_Report_2009_ENG.pdf
  • Healthy People 2020: What Are Its Goals? http://healthypeople.gov/2020/
  • Focus your attention on “Overarching Goal #2: Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.”

To complete this Application Assignment, write a 3- to 4-page paper that addresses the following questions.

  • What socio-ecological factors contribute to the existence of health disparities? (Examples include socioeconomics and education).
  • How might one’s culture serve as a barrier to equal treatment when it comes to healthcare? Give an example. (*Note: Please remember that culture is not skin color).
  • Give an example or examples of how populations experience unequal treatment and disparity in healthcare. Provide some statistics to help illustrate this point from the CDC, the textbook, your Resources this week, or another reliable source.
  • How do the health-related Millennium Development Goals address such health disparities?
  • Discuss 2 to 3 Healthy People 2020 objectives that provide a framework for addressing health disparities, based on your Healthy People assigned focus area.

Support your answers with statistical information about your Healthy People assigned focus area. The following are a few websites that provide a wealth of data regarding specific populations and Healthy People assigned focus area:

  • State Health Facts, Kaiser Family Foundation www.statehealthfacts.org
  • Statistical Information System, World Health Organization http://www.who.int/whosis/en/
  • Interactive Map: Maps: The Global Picture http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/atlas/us.html

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct. Also, since this is your only application, you may want to submit this to a Walden Writing Center tutor first as well as run it through Turnitin.com prior to submission. Other helpful resources include:

  • Citations: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/apa/citations/intextparenthetical
  • Reference List: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/apa/references
  • “Gold Star” Application Example

Jody Early. GOLDSTAR APPLICATION EXAMPLE. Used by permission of Jody Early.

  • Organizing Your Week 3 Application Paper. Used by permission of Shelley Armstrong.

Readings

  • Course Text: Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health

·          

·         Chapter 3, “Social Epidemiology”

This chapter will expand your knowledge to include the field of social epidemiology, focusing on the unequal distribution of disease patterns across social groups.

·         Chapter 9, “Health Disparities, Diversity, and Cultural Competence”

The authors provide a critical perspective on the impact of diversity and cultural competence on solving the problem of health care disparities.

  • Article: Sen, K., & Bonita, R. (2000). Global health status: Two steps forward, one step back. Lancet, 356(9229), 577–582. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • This article makes the point that although there has been impressive improvement in the health status of individuals around the globe, there is an urgent need for better methods of accurately assessing health status.
  • Report: Institute of Medicine. (2002). Unequal treatment: What healthcare providers need to know about racial and ethnic disparities in health-care: Shaping the future for health. Retrieved from http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2003/Unequal-Treatment-Confronting-Racial-and-Ethnic-Disparities-in-Health-Care/Disparitieshcproviders8pgFINAL.pdf

This report discusses the role of bias, prejudice, and stereotyping in the unequal treatment of patients. It also summarizes additional findings that can help health care professionals provide equitable, high-quality care for all patients.

  • Report: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. (2008). Health currents: America’s health starts with healthy children: How do states compare?

Copyright 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America.

This report examines the health of our nation’s children from various socioeconomic perspectives. The scholars describe their state of health now in contrast to how it could be in the future.

  • Report: United Nations. (2009). The Millennium Development Goals report 2009. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/MDG_Report_2009_ENG.pdf

Read pages 24–41 about the goals that relate to health care in general and, more specifically, health disparities.

  • Report: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service. (n.d.). Executive summary: Mental health: Culture, race, and ethnicity. Retrieved March 12, 2010, from http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/lib/dmhas/publications/mhethnicity.pdf
  • Read “Summary” and “Chapter Summaries & Conclusions.”

This report documents scientific advances that deepen our understanding of mental illness and have found a range of effective treatments for most mental disorders. The authors propose that cultural and social influences are not the only determinants of mental illness and patterns for treatment, but they do play important roles.

Optional Resources

Readings

  • Article: Chan, M. (2007). Health and the MDGs: The challenges ahead. UN Chronicle, 44(4), 54–57.
  • Article: Prinja, S., & Kumar, R. (2009). Reducing health inequities in a generation: A dream or reality? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 87(2), 84.
  • Article: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2008). National healthcare disparitiesreport, 2007. Retrieved from http://archive.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr07.htm
  • Book: Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2003). Unequal treatment: Confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=030908265X
  • Interactive Map: Public Broadcasting Service. (Executive Producer). (2006). Map: AIDS in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/atlas/us.html

Websites

  • The Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/

Statistical Websites

  • KFF State Health Facts
http://kff.org/statedata/
  • WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS)
http://www.who.int/whosis/en/

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