Societal health is a domain that can be located within the precincts of community health. Implicitly community health is a domain that is inclined to the study as well as betterment of the health attributes of biological societies. Whereas the jargon community can be broadly illustrated, community health appears to focus on the geographic specialties moderately than persons with collective characteristics. The health attributes of any given community are normally examined by employing the (GIS) otherwise known as the geographic information system. The system is jointly employed with the community health datasets. Various ventures like the Info Share as well as GEOPROJ integrate with the GIS in addition to accessible statistical sets. This gives the wider society an opportunity to examine the attributes of any given society in the US, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
Since health III (broadly illustrated as well-being) is controlled by a wide array of socio-demographic attributes, relevant variables vary from the proportion of residents of a given age bracket to a wide ranging life bated breath of the locality. The central objective of the healthcare involvement is inclined to enhancing the health of a given community range from improving access to medical care to community health infrastructure crusades. Up to date study efforts are oriented towards erecting ecological as well as socio-fiscal status affect health.
Accomplishments of community health schemes rely on the transfer of in ranks from health experts to wide ranging communities by employing one-to-one if not one to many communication systems. However, in our modern times there’s what is known as mass communication. This has been the most embraced paradigm shift in community health. Major areas in which community health nursing has emphasized include: immunization clinics for the infants and the elderly, ear and eyes clinics, HIV/AIDS testing among others. Community health nursing aims at ensuring that the individual, family and community can assess high standards of holistic health care services. This is made feasible by promoting health care lifestyles through education, public awareness and community activities Clark, M.J. (2003). In this paper, we discuss community health in Centre County based in Pennsylvania, Langan, J., James, D. (2005).
Centre County is a region situated in the state of Pennsylvania in the US. It is a segment of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Data Region. Basing on the 2007 census, the population of this county was at 144, 658. The Centre County was initiated in 1800, on February the thirteenth. It was created from the segments of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin as well as Northumberland provinces. The county was dubbed owing to its central position. Bellefonte is its county bench. Based on statistics from the United States Census Department, Centre County has a holistic surface area of about 1, 112 sq miles or approximately (2,880km squared). The land comprises about 1, 108 square miles whereas the remaining 4 square miles is covered by the water masses. The Centre County association for societal Health does exist to analyze the health requirements of Centre County residents as well as enhancing statistical driven outreach as well as joint venture efforts that will link fissures in service as it precludes hindrances to wide ranging health. Majority of the population live in the rural areas and practice lumbering and farming. In 1920 lumbering reduced and Centre residents engaged in mining of coal and clay. Unemployment and birth rate are very high for example, in 2000 alone it 9.9 and 9.6 respectively. Whereas the death rate was 11.3 in every 1000 people (Clark, M.J.2003).
The main sources of data collection are secondary data mainly the newspapers articles and interviews. Mainly interviewing the medical providers and the residents in the Centre community. Focussed group discussion can also be organized through seminars. The main causes of death in Centre County are mainly heart diseases, cancer, stroke, chronic diseases and accidents from vehicle crash. Other causes are influenza/pneumonia, Nephritis, diabetes mellitus septicemia and Alzheimer’s. Above all the primary health risk was car accidents, such that from 1997 to 2002 the rate of death was 20.2 percent. In other instances in 2002, 284 percent of the infected with heart diseases were the elderly over 65 years, whereas case of diabetes mellitus was only 30, and ages between 5-24 years risks of heart diseases was 5 percent whereas that diabetes was 2 percent. Ages between 45-64 heart diseases rates were 34 percent, (Clark, M.J.2003).
Community system/Environment structure and functions
Centre County, PA comprises seven planning sections. Among the seven is the Metropolitan college region popularly known by the locals as the centre region? The centre region is an economically burgeoning area that is closely tied to it agrarian basis as well as what is currently the Pennsylvanian University that is still the nations biggest employer. Being a leading university, Penn state attracts academicians and the learners of domain ranging from agrarian science to economics to nuclear as well as aerospace faculty. Ultra-modern expansion industries have also been attracted in this region in addition to the expansion of tourism as well as service industries. Fiscal synergies that propel the expansion of Centre area coexists with the tranquility of remote subsistence that is evident a small distance from the regions center. Such variables in conjunction with the explicit eminence of subsistence presented in this area usher blossoming integers of merchants, workers as well as retirees, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
The community systems in Centre County are recreational facilities, transportation networks, educational facilities, drainage systems and housing. The primary transport network is Interstate 80 that connects Centre to New York and other major markets in Chicago. There is also Corridor O to be completed by 2010 to connect Interstate 80 and interstate 99.There as two airports: the Centre –University Park Airport has the capacity to hold corporate planes and there is the JFK airport that connects the western part of Centre with daily flights from Pittsburgh, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
Centre has the rail service that offers mass transportation to the residents. There is the R.J.Corman Railroad, Pittsburgh and Shawmut railway and lastly the Buffalo and Pittsburgh railroad. Reactional facilities in Centre are many. They are managed by the County of Centre recreational and Tourism Authority. All these recreational facilities provide sporting activities, hunting, fishing and camping. The residents also participate in cultural events such as Arts Studio Theater that provides a platform for choral concerts and art exhibits, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
Majority of residents of Centre are educated. For instance, school going people of age 25 years and above was found to be attained education form 9th grade to bachelors degree was almost 190.2 percent. However there are dropout rate in secondary schools is 2.2percent.
Housing costs are low with an average owner occupied dwelling of $62,600.The total housing unit in 2002 was 38,305 in total with homeownership rate of 79.2.Average household size of 2.44 percent and family size of 2.94 (Clark,M.J.2003). Drainage facilities consist of public sewer and septic tanks.Each of these facilities covers 45 and 52 percent respectively. The main source of water is Municipal authority. Other sources are private and public companies that provide for 78% of the population. There are also individual dug well occupies 5 percent, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
With reference to the census conducted in 2000, the population of this region was roughly 135, 758 persons, whereas 49, 323 households were evident; 28, 508 families lived in this county. In terms of population density, one square mile had approximately one hundred and twenty three. On average, every one square mile housed roughly 53, 161 housing units. The ethnic structure of the county was roughly at 91.44% representing whites, 2.61% representing blacks; 0.14% representing Native American, 3.96% Asian; 0.07 percent represents Pacific islander, 0.74 percent from subsequent races, while 1.05 percent from two or more races. 1.65% of the populations were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26.1 percent were of German, 9.8 percent represented the Irish, 9.3 percent represented Americans, 8.7 percent represented Italians and the English heritage was represented by 8.0 percent, Langan, J., James, D. (2005).
Twenty five point five zero percent of the 49, 323 households had kids below the age of eighteen years. Forty eight point nine zero percent were married couples that lived jointly, about six point ten percent had a female householder who lived in the absentia of the husbands while forty two point two zero percent were not family members. About twenty six point six zero percent were households that constituted of individuals and seven point six zero percent had at least an elderly above the age of 65 years living alone, Langan, J., James, D. (2005).
The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95. The county populace was spread out with eighteen percent below the age of eighteen years, twenty six point eight zero percent were spread from eighteen to twenty four years, while twenty six point four zero span from twenty five to forty four; eighteen point four zero span from forty five to sixty four in addition to ten point four zero percent the represented 65 years and above. Twenty nine years was the median age
Community Diagnosis and health promotion
The main Health risk in Centre County is Lyme disease which is caused by vector tick. Residents are exposed to activities such as hunting of deers, camping, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities have high chances of contracting the disease. In fact reported case of this disease is same of that in all the counties in the state of Pennsylvania. For instance, between 1999-2001 a total of 32.8% were infected, in 2000-2002 it was 47.6percent, Langan, J., James, D. (2005).
- The Healthy people 2010 aims at ensuring that the rate decreases to 9.7 percent per 100,000 people.
- Increase awareness among the Centre residents who follow the safety measures:
-wearing protective clothes like long sleeved shirts, gumboots, head masks and overalls.
-use of insect repellants like the DEET.
- Increase more experts in the tick infected areas within Clearfield.
Another health risk is Diabetes Mellitus which is incurable and caused by insufficient insulin in the body leading to kidney failure, blindness among others.
- Annual screening of residents against diabetes.
- Promoting fitness programs to curb obesity.
Health promotion plans are ideally interventions to promote healthy lifestyles in Centre County. They can be primary, secondary and tertiary.
Educating the residents on the risk factors of Lyme and diabetes mellitus diseases through posters, health fairs and newspaper articles.
Promote health eating and fitness programme to control diabetes mellitus infections.
Increase awareness among the residents on how to remove an attached tick.
Educate the community and health providers on early signs of Lyme and diabetes mellitus diseases through seminars.
Launch screening programme for diabetes and encourage the residents to engage in fitness programme.
Residents to seek early medical interventions when they detect signs of diseases
Launch support groups to assist the infected deal with the physical and emotional effects of the diseases.
Encourage people to participate in regular monitoring of high risk diseases (Healthy people 2010, 2004).
Assess the previous years infections of these diseases to see if the goals put in place are realized. That is Lyme disease for at aims at reducing the rate from 47.6 to 9.7 percent whereas that of diabetes is decreasing from 92.5 to 68 percent per 100,000 people. Continued assessment can also be realized through mortality and morbidity rates. It is evident that Centre community has access to health care facilities and the emerging health risks can be controlled, Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002).
- Clark, M.J. (2003) Community health nursing (4th ed) Upper Saddle River, New jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Healthy people 2010. US. Census Bureau.
- Hilton, C., and Allison, V. (2002). Disaster preparedness: an indictment for action by nursing educators. Journal of Continuing Nursing Education, 35 (2), 59-65.
- Langan, J., James, D. (2005). Preparing nurses for disaster management. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall.