Miami Suburban Community’s Windshield Survey
Subject: Public Health
Introduction of Community The city and state that I chose to focus on are Miami, Florida. The overall state of healthcare in Florida is concerning, particularly for the vulnerable populations, such as unemployed people and immigrants. For instance, according to Families USA (2016), 2.2 million Floridians stand to lose their health coverage due to the state losing $87 billion in federal funding for healthcare. Barnet (2014) states that over 30 percent of people rely on Medicare and Medicaid for health insurance, and a further 19 percent are uninsured. Moreover, Florida has not accepted the ACA yet, which means that vulnerable populations have less access to healthcare than in states that have expanded their Medicaid policy (Barnet, 2014).
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The community I decided to focus on is the population living in the suburban area of Miami. There are a lot of people from vulnerable populations living in the community, including unemployed people, immigrants, and single mothers. All these people are at a generally high risk of facing healthcare disparities since they are either uninsured or have low access to health care facilities in the nearby areas. Windshield Survey Vitality The suburban areas are busy, people are visible. Many people are on their way to or from work, but most stay at home to perform housework. People of all ages are visible in the area, particularly adults with kids. The majority of people are from various ethnic groups, there are many African American and Latino families. There are a lot of pregnant women and women with young kids, barely any tourists or visitors. Many people appear to be poor and unemployed, although they have no visible health problems or disabilities. Indicators of social and economic conditions Most homes are multi-family structures. People rely on public transportation as well as on their private cars. There are many bus stops but they are not maintained properly. Special transportation to health care facilities is not available to all areas. Most of the companies in the area are small businesses, so work opportunities are scarce. There are many homeless people in the area and groups of adolescents out of school during the daytime. Health Resources The availability of hospitals in the area is low. There is one hospital in the nearby area which is not big enough to provide healthcare to all people of the community. There are few local doctors’ offices. Overall, health resource availability is scarce. Environmental conditions related to health The area is not well-maintained. Many homes are dirty and in need of maintenance. The condition of the roads is satisfactory, but there is a lot of trash in the street. Few restaurants and recreational facilities are available. There are flies and mosquitoes in the area. No public restrooms are visible in the streets. Social functioning Many families are living in the neighborhood. Mothers usually take care of the children. There is no evidence of community efforts for the improvement of local conditions. Most families do not seem to communicate with one another, although there are groups of children playing in the streets. There are groups of teenagers out of school during the daytime, which may be an indicator of juvenile delinquency problem.
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Attitude toward healthcare There are alternative medicine shops and offices that provide herbal treatment and other types of folk medicine. There is little evidence of preventive or wellness care available to residents. There are social advertisements for certain issues, such as drug use and adolescent pregnancy, but no evidence of health events or clinics. Vulnerable population The most vulnerable population in the community are unemployed people and their families. Most of these people are from minority ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Latino, as well as overseas immigrants. Since few job opportunities are available nearby, many people are unemployed. For instance, there are many stay-at-home single mothers with children. A lot of adolescents can be seen in the streets during school hours. There is a wide availability of shops selling alcohol, which may indicate higher rates of drinking among men of the community. Overall, these populations are at high risk for health problems, as they are predominantly uninsured and rely on low-cost healthcare services that are not efficient to ensure adequate management of diseases and health problems. Conclusion There is firm evidence of a vulnerable population in the area, consisting primarily of unemployed people and their children. These people have low access to health care and may experience health disparities. The main concern is for the children that live in such conditions, as they may suffer from infectious diseases. Adolescents and adults, on the other hand, do not have proper access to sexual health services, which may cause the spreading of STDs in the community. Disare (2014) indicates that the rates of chlamydia and syphilis in the Miami-Dade region have nearly doubled since 2006. Another potential health risk is the high incidence of adolescent pregnancies. Overall, these health threats can be addressed by expanding healthcare coverage of the vulnerable suburban populations. For instance, increasing the number of hospitals available nearby would ensure that health care services are available to those insured under Medicaid, whereas increasing the funding for sexual health clinics would help to promote STD testing and reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancies. The main action that is to be taken to support the vulnerable population, however, is the approval of the ACA and expansion of Medicaid coverage, which would help to make health services more affordable to the public. References: Barnet, S. (2014). Healthcare in Florida: 10 things to know. Becker’s Hospital Review. Web. Disare, M. (2014). STDs are on the rise in Miami-Dade. Miami Herald. Web.
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Families USA. (2016). Defending health care in 2017: What Is at stake in Florida. Web.