Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to provide students with an opportunity to analyze the broad social, political, cultural, economic, and other factors that affect the ability of diverse groups to reach their full health potential. Students will also differentiate between individual and population-based strategies for improving health. 

Through this assignment, students will have the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, apply new knowledge to a real-life context, and explore how learning can be integrated into the student’s own community and practice environment. 

Process: First, select a high-risk, diverse group within your local area of practice, then identify a  health concern that is particularly relevant to this group.

  • Explore how different variables such as cultural, historical, political, social, environmental, ecological,  and economic factors are contributing to the health issue(s) you identified within your specified population. Look closely at your community, the issue, and the affected group from the various elements of social determinants of health (SDOH). Analyze the situation from at least three different perspectives  – such as the environment, SES, consumer, political, school system/education; public safety, healthcare, cultural values, historically foundations, etc.
  • Include scholarly references and summarize your findings. (Be sure to provide the appropriate evidence to support your claims). 
  • For example, if your project is looking at childhood asthma in a low-income neighborhood, you might look at this issue from an environmental perspective such as proximity to freeways and poor air quality; economic – low income housing having problems with cockroaches and other risk factors associated with pediatric asthma or parent working at a job without sick leave so unable to be home with child during flare-up; school system policies; access to healthcare services including urgent care, primary care providers and pediatric pulmonologists. 

In addition to creating a written summary of your findings, review the scholarly literature and determine what strategies are most appropriate to promote/improve health for your target population and issue. This is your chance to express what you have learned in a meaningful way. Your work should reflect a real potential for improving the health of a diverse group within your community.

a.      Propose one individual and one population-based strategy to improve this group’s health.  (For example, if your project is focusing on childhood obesity, individualized strategies would include one-on-one counseling with the parent & child; education at the bedside or during a clinic visit; an individualized exercise plan. Population-focused interventions might include group nutrition classes for parents of at-risk kids; a health department led campaign to limit screen time for children to 2 hours or less per day; a farm-to-table community event; an after-school exercise program through the school district or Park & Rec Dept.; a community-wide walking competition; school policies to eliminate sweets at schools or changing vending machine options). 

b.      Identify at least one advantage and one disadvantage for both of these approaches.

In total, your paper should not exceed 5 written pages (excluding the title page & reference page). Submit your completed paper to the assignment link in the Dropbox toolbar to the left.

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