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.