Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chapter 4 Summary/Reflection

Chapter 4 was basically a continuation of chapter 3. It was agreed that this chapter was a lot easier to follow as it did not have as many vocabulary words as the previous chapter. Diseases were broken down first into two groups, communicable and non-communicable. Communicable diseases are transmitted from and infected host while non-communicable diseases cannot be transmitted. Examples are AIDs and then heart disease. It is extremely important to control the spread of communicable diseases by washing your hands and taking caution when coming in direct contact with others. Non-communicable diseases are only able to be prevented by keeping yourself as healthy as possible, though it is possible to attain these through hereditary history. Touching, kissing, sexual intercourse, and any other form of direct contact is a form of direct transmission. Indirect transmission includes airborne (breathing in germs through the air), vehicleborne (touching soiled towels, or coming in contact with any contaminated object, such as a counter top), and finally, vector borne transmission is through a living organism, such as a fly or mosquito. Priorities must be made so that the appropriate amount of funds can be made available.  The order of priority is decided through the number of people who die from the disease, the number of potential years of life lost due to the disease, and also the cost and need for finances for the disease.  The top 3 leading causes of death for Americans are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Communities, along with individuals, need to start with prevention at a younger age. It is important to teach younger children about prevention, bad habits start at a young age!

Sumer was intrigued by how many risks for disease are all around us. The way disease transmission was broken down and explained, made it easier to understand just how we get infected with them. She was especially interested in diseases caused by food additives. This made her think of all the additives that are in the foods she eats and would like to know more about this topic. Jenny thought that we needed to make more time in our everyday lives to stay healthy and excersize, even though it is very hard to put those things into a busy schedule. It is very important to keep ourselves healthy. She thinks we need to utilize the opportunites such as using the gym equipment more, and of course there is more that should be done to allow more healthy activites.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chapter two review

In chapter two, the different levels of health organizations were described, and we learned of the responsibilities of each. The four levels are International health agencies, National Health Agencies, State Health Agencies, and Local Health Departments. They each play an important role in the lives of people in communities, and the chapter goes in to greater details of each. Internationally, the World Health Organization, (WHO) is the largest, but not the oldest, international government health organization. Their main purpose is to attain the highest level of health for people as possible. They manage information, negotiate global partnerships, and help in developing new technology for health care, disease prevention, and more. The Department for Health and Human Services, (HHS) is the United States national health agency, which was formed in 1980. It is people serving people, giving it that personal touch. They serve everyone of all ages, including newborns and the elderly. Sumer and myself both noted how the Department of Health and Human Services has helped us in our own lives. Neither of us would have health insurance if it were not for this opportunity. Organizations such at the Administration on Aging, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and many more were also discussed throughout this chapter, and were very informative on what exactly each group provides for the public’s wellbeing. Every state has its own health department, and as Chelsea pointed out, it is very clear that all organizations or agencies have the same goal: promote, protect, and preserve the health of all people. No matter what the focus of that particular agency is, it in turn affects all aspects of individual health. Finally, local health departments were discussed. They are the responsibility of the city, and it would not be uncommon for multiple towns or counties to be under the same health department depending in the number of residents. I found that to be interesting, because if a large city has the attention of one department, and four or five small towns share the attention of another, is one group getting more or less out of their department than the other?
We all agree that school health programs are very important, and Sumer told of how she is thankful for the health education she had in school, because it helped her to make better, more healthy choices in life. I believe that is true for all of us. Without the education we receive in middle and high school, the way we live our lives could be very harmful to ourselves and others.
Quasi governmental organizations, which are those with responsibilities from the government, but run as voluntary, and voluntary organizations were covered, and those such as the American Red Cross caught our attention. I was personally amazed that the red cross is more than just people who come to your school and do blood drives. Their responsibilities are heart warming, and include tasks such as helping with relieve and recovery from disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and more. Also, my favorite, they are almost like a bridge between active duty members of the armed forces and their families back at home. If there is a need to contact one another in emergency, the ARC is there to make sure that happens. Voluntary agencies raise money to help support programs such at the Shriners hospital, and also for research needs.
For our personal reflections, we all took a different path. Sumer explained her thankfulness for school health education, and the help that the Department for Health and Human Services gives to her personally. She also recognized how community health is so important to her everyday life, but just doesn’t really think much about it. Chelsea was very interested in the state and local health organizations, and the how big voluntary ones can become. She hopes to work with them one day. Finally, mine was about my interest in how businesses and companies are cracking down on their workers and making rules such as no smoking on work property, or wearing the safety seatbelt at all times while operating a company vehicle. Some are even providing such services as stress management courses, and alcoholics anonymous. These are all tiny steps towards a brighter and healthier future for everyone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chapter One Reflection/Summary

After individually reading the chapters, Jennifer, Chelsea and I briefly compared our summaries on chapter one. We did this to ensure that we all picked up on the key points in the Chapter. Chapter One starts out with a brief introduction and some important definitions. The Definitions given were for the terms Health, Community, Public Health, Public Health Systems, Community Health, and Population Health. We discussed why we thought the text gave so many definitions in the first chapter. It was decided that to understand the nature of Health and role the government and people play in health care, one must understand terms commonly used.
Following the definitions, many factors that affect the health of a community were discussed. The factors were broken down into Physical factors, Social and Cultural factors, Community Organizing, and Individual Behaviors.
The next sections are about the History of Community and Public Health. The earliest civilizations, before 500 AD, had drainage systems and practiced basic cleanliness. By the middle ages, 500-1500 AD, much culture and sanitation was lost as the church gained power. During the renaissance, 1500 -1700 AD, disease and exploration were steadily growing. By the 18th century, the industrial revolution was in full spring and many people had moved to the city from the country. This lead to much crowding and very dirty and poor living condition, which breed disease.
During this time, Dr. Jenner found a vaccine for smallpox. The bacteriological period of public health was during the 19th century.The 20th century was broken into 4 major sectors, Reform phase, the 1920's, the great depression and world war two, and the postwar years. The period of social engineering was from 1960 to 1973. Medicare and Medicaid were also created. The History was a very interesting part of the chapter. It was mentioned during reflection, that the section on history really flowed and was held the readers attention. It helped to show how recent many developments in the health field are.
Ten years into the 21st Century and we are facing a multitude of health concerns. These issues include Health Care Delivery, Environmental Problems, Lifestyle Diseases, Communicable Diseases, Alcohol and other drug abuse, and disasters. All of which are growing issues. The chapter continues to discuss what the World and the USA are doing to acheive improvements in Community Health Care. For the United States, this includes Healthy People 2020.
Our group spent some time discussing Healthy People 2010 because we were all conscious of it, but each of us also had further questions on what exactly it was. Between the three of us we came to a good understanding of what Healthy People 2020 is all about. We then discussed Bioterrorism. Bioterrorism was an issue that Jenny, Chelsea and I all brought up in our reflections because it seems as though we understand the threat as a nation, yet no one really understands how much Bioterrorism could really affect us. This lead into another point that was raised in reflection. How prepared are we as a society? If there was a major Bioterrorist attack how many people would servive? We all agreed that we could be doing more to prepare.