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Societal Collective Roles in Assuring healthy Conditions in the Community
Rosemary Beluchukwu
MCPHS University
Societal Collective Roles in Assuring healthy Conditions in the Community
The health of the American people at the beginning of the twenty-first century took a very drastic turn-around than those living in 1990. The prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes are increasing, and infectious disease constitutes a growing concern because of newly recognized or newly imported agents. Such as, West Nile virus, the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens, and the all-too-real threat of bioterrorism (Sadana & Blas, 2013).

In this paper, it will explore different ways that society can assure that conditions in which people can be healthy are the same goals of the public health activists and nurses. The impact is tremendous: more than 70 percent of health comes from prevention and factors outside of any individual’s control (Jackson ; Dannenberg, 2013). This paper will also explain how principle of social justice apply to the community involvement in achieving healthy conditions in which people live in. It will also explain how collective effort of the society is important to the community health nursing and my personal statement on the topic. This paper will explain some of the frameworks for action and identifies those who must be involved, and outlines priority steps to be taken.

Public health is responsible for many avenues of society. Most notably, everything from clean air and water to safe workplaces; from controlling the spread of infectious diseases and preventing chronic diseases to improving prenatal nutrition; from reducing automobile accidents to designing quality health systems. Public health has also included partnering with national and local governments, public health scientists and nurses respond to natural disasters, pandemics, and any other threat to population health (Sadana ; Blas, 2013). And while medicine is vital for each of us when we get sick, public health benefits everyone. It is an organization that puts no precedent on age, social status, and pre-existing conditions. It is crucial in today’s society due to the conviction that the health of millions cannot be monitored by any one group or facility.

There is a need to assuring the health of the public in the 21st century, which was included in the framework for action to assure the health of the public in the twenty-first century (Jackson & Dannenberg, 2013). The framework was guided through the vision set forth by Healthy People 2010—healthy people in healthy communities—with its recognition of both individual and community dimensions (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2018). This vision has been endorsed as national policy at the highest levels of government and by most states, many localities, and a large coalition of business and nonprofit organizations.
In addition, healthy people 2020 provided a vision on a society in which all people live long healthy lives (Carroca, 2018). This vision described four overarching goals to achieve healthy life and eliminate health disparities among different populations. The outcome of healthy people 2020 are “to promote healthy behaviors, increase access to quality health care and strengthen community prevention” (Carroca, 2018, slide 3).

Review of Literature
It is hardly necessary to argue that good health is fundamental to a good society (Jackson & Dannenberg, 2013). Without a certain level of health, people may not be able to fully participate in many of the goods of life, including family and community life, gainful employment, and participation in the political process. Ethicists point to the special role that health plays in the enjoyment of an active life, a thriving community, and a productive nation (Sadana & Blas, 2013). This view is also grounded in international codes and agreements to which the United States is party, from the World Health Organization’s Constitution (WHO) to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which ascribe intrinsic value to health (WHO, 1946 as cited in Sadana & Blas, 2013).

The public’s health is an important collective good because public funds are expended to benefit all or most of the population (Singh ; Shi, 2014). The public’s health can be supported only through collective action, not through individual endeavor. Acting alone, persons of means may procure personal medical services and many of the necessities of living. Yet no single individual or group can assure the conditions needed for health. Meaningful protection and assurance of the population’s health require communal effort. The community as a whole has a stake in environmental protection, hygiene and sanitation, clean air, uncontaminated food and water, safe blood and pharmaceutical products, and the control of infectious diseases. These collective goods, and many more, are essential conditions for health, but these “public” goods can be secured only through organized action on behalf of the population (Marmot ; Allen, 2014).

Communities throughout America such as schools, voluntary organizations, civic groups, local law enforcement and fire-fighting agencies, religious organizations, and others, play multiple roles in shaping health status of their constituents (Jackson ; Dannenberg, 2013). Within these communities it is not uncommon for other members to promote a social connectedness that may support mental and physical health through the implementation of organizational efforts and activism to attain policy change and managing or engaging in population-level health interventions (Singh ; Shi, 2014). By bringing all communities, media outlets, businesses and employers to the forefront, public health organizations can build the knowledge and capacity needed to channel some of their resources toward population health improvement. Businesses and employers will have healthier workforces and constructive relationships with the community. The media will better serve the public’s interest, and communities will be actively participants and even leaders in their own health improvement process. In order to live and flourish in our society, it is imperative that we put these beliefs in high regard. When members of society are conscientious of one another’s health we will see many benefits. These may include better relationships between employer and employee, more transparent/informed media, and the election of leaders who support emphasizing a proper level of health in their communities.

Application of the Principle of Social Justice
The principle of social justice describes the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society (Carroca, 2018). This reflected to the topic of this paper by implementing preventative approaches that focus on addressing the immediate causes of diseases in the society such as controlling high blood pressure to prevent heart attacks (Sadana ; Blas, 2013). This can be accomplished through making access to the resources to all or to those who are more likely to experience poor health because of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. These preventative approaches to address them may include policies that support education, adequate housing, a living wage, and clean air, or attempt to deal with some of the pervasive social and economic inequities that appear to be associated with profound disparities in health status, access, and outcomes.

Because many citizens face the possibility of experiencing social and economic deprivation at some point in their lives and these problems are associated with poorer health, society stands to benefit from the enactment of social and economic policies that are founded on the principles of reducing inequity (Sadana ; Blas, 2013). A societal-level commitment to enact socially equitable policies is more likely to result in more equitable opportunities over a lifetime for personal and societal advancement and will ultimately lead to improved population health. With an increasingly diverse population, the nation will need a more highly developed knowledge base concerning the social determinants of health and a continuing reassessment and improving understanding of the ways in which social, cultural, and ecological factors shape health behaviors and influence health status (Marmot ; Allen, 2014).

Importance of Societal Role in Community Health Nursing
Changes in the health care needs of society have created a demand for changes in health care services as well. One result has been the expansion of the nurse’s role in the delivery of care. In keeping with the broad goal of public health practice, community health nursing has as its objective the improvement of the health of the total community. Practice therefore tends to be focused on community groups, particularly those groups that are at risk because of specific problems, such as disadvantaged preschool children, high risk pregnant women, or people suffering from specific long-term health problems.

About 12% of the actual health care problems are those related to curing disease, whereas 88% of the problems people encounter are those related to care: education for health, periodic health examinations, advice on diet and nutrition, and care to prevent long-term health problems from becoming acute (Kemppainen, Tossavainen & Turunen, 2013). Therefore, more research is needed to determine how to support nurses in implementing health promotion in their roles in the community setting.

Personal Statement
My stand on this topic is that I am for the promotion of healthy people through the collective effort of society. It is a fact that improving people’s health condition and promoting wellness will lead to preventing and treating diseases. Health is shaped by many innate factors such as genes, age, and sex and other influences from the social, economic, natural, and political environments, ranging from the availability of shelter and food to questions of social connectedness and behavior (Marmot ; Allen, 2014). These multiple determinants of health, among others, constitute a reality that makes it impossible for one entity or one sector alone to bring about population health improvement. It is a collective effort wrought by all members and avenues of society. It is implorable that this commitment must be reflected in policies and programs at the national, state, and local levels. Ideally these changes will include a broad spectrum of society—individual citizens and nongovernmental entities, as well as health care providers, businesses, academic institutions, the media, and others (Singh ; Shi, 2014). The current and future generations must work effectively together as a public health system to create the conditions that allow people in the United States to be as healthy as they can be.

Achieving the vision and reaching the goals set forth by Healthy People 2020 will require the concerted and collaborative efforts of different components of society, whether it is the public sector, the private sector, state agencies, nongovernmental entities, learning institutions, or the community at large. In order to attain the vision of healthy people in healthy communities, we must assure that all communities, no matter how small, have access to the essential public health services. All partners who can contribute to action as a public health system should be encouraged to assess their roles and responsibilities, consider changes, and devise ways to better collaborate with other partners. This may require long term public commitment to ensure that the policies, financial and organizational resources, and public wills are in place to assure the presence of the conditions necessary for all Americans to live longer, healthier lives.

Carroca, C. (2018). Healthy People 2020. Unpublished Powerpoint, School of Nursing, MCPHS University, Worcester, MA.

Jackson, R. J., ; Dannenberg, A. L. (2013). Health and the built environment: 10 years after. The American Journal of public health, 103(9), 1542-1544. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301482.

Marmot, M., ; Allen, J. J. (2014). Social determinants of health equity. The American Journal
of public health, 104(4), 517-519. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302200
Sadana, R., ; Blas, E. (2013). What can public health programs do to improve health equity?
World Health Organization: public health report, 128(3), 1-9. doi:10.1177/00333549131286S303
Singh, D. A., ; Shi, L. (2014). Delivering healthcare in America (7th ed.). Baltimore: Jones ;
Bartlett Learning.

Stanhope, M. ; Lancaster, J. (2018). Foundations for population health in community/public
health nursing (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Kemppainen, V., Tossavainen, K., ; Turunen, H. (2013). Nurses’ roles in health promotion
practice: an integrative review. Health Promotion International, 28(4), 490–501.

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