Place Matters

Health Equity Quiz: When I took the Health Equity Quiz I only got 50%. I knew a lot of the specific disparities, but I was unaware of most of the statistics about where the United States ranked among the world. I think the question that I got wrong, that I was most surprised about was the question about which ethnic group had the best overall health in the U.S. I had never heard of the “Latino Paradox”, and I think I would like to read up on that more, because that was quite an interesting statistic. On a side note, the statistic I found the most depressing was the one about the life expectancy of young Black men in Harlem. I answered that question correctly, but I still find it shocking and sad.

 

Unnatural Causes- “Place Matters: I chose the “Place Matters” episode. This short film was about once prosperous communities in the Pacific Northwest, that have fallen on very hard times. This film discussed the prevalence of disease in these low income neighborhoods. A lot of these families, that left their home countries in order to make a better life in the United States, have found their health in actually worse shape than it was before. Many of the illnesses that are endemic in these communities are heart disease and asthma. The emotional stresses and the environmental stressors that many of the adults endure, cause them to have severe cardiac diseases, which can cut their lifespan by 30%. The children in these communities have such poor air quality, outside with pollution and inside with mold and other contaminants, that they are six times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. And since most of these people are too poverty stricken to have proper health insurance, they end up in the ER for every episode. There was some community action to help rebuild the neighborhood of High Point into a multi-income community, but some of the poorest of the poor lost out again and were permanently displaced.

Influences on Issues of Illness: There are many factors that affect the spread and treatment of illness, particularly in these impoverished, forgotten cities, like the one discussed in “Place Matters”. A lot of the community politics do not take into account the poorest residents and therefore they are under the radar and do not receive the services they are in need of. Also, the economics of a city fallen on hard times, causes those left there to be invisible to the surrounding communities, this is happening in parts of Detroit right now. Lastly, the environment presented in the film, shows that even if the residents are trying to take good care of their health and the health of their children, it is a lost cause, because they will still be exposed to the environmental hazards that make them ill in the first place. All of these factors lead to the constant spread of poverty and illness, which go hand and hand.

9 thoughts on “Place Matters

  1. There should be some type of government action in place for the people suffering in this community. I hold the government responsible for these kinds of things because an entire community cannot just be fixed by individuals trying to improve it alone. There needs to be massive support of a government system because the amount of people with this problem. I think a program should be set in place similar to that of welfare. People should be able to apply for help in really severe cases. The program would consist of assistance in helping people come to a safer community with better overall quality until they “get on their feet.” Through the program, people would be provided community shelter, much like a dormitory, which would consist of healthy foods and jobs for those people who are able to work. Healthcare insurance would also be included in the budget. I think this would be a great political solution to the problem.

    There are several pros as well as cons that can possibly take place when implementing a program such as this. The pros would be; helping and saving a lot of lives and putting the community in a better situation and having more people with insurance. The cons would be the money. A community-wide program costs a lot and there might be some things that the government will not be able to do.

  2. I think when an entire community is suffering that bad, the government needs to take action and help out. The fact that people were developing additional health issues due to unnecessary stress is not alright. I think a solution to the problem could be some kind of a governmental program to help the community financially. I also think the government needs to take action with the pollution matter. Possibly enforcing a nation wide policy to make our environment more eco-friendly would not only benefit inner-city communities, but the nation as a whole. Even if the government did provide financial aid, individuals would have to do their part as well to ensure the policy is successfull. For example, you mentioned the problem of children living in homes filled with mold, and developing asthma from it. That type of situation can be easily avoided.

    Pros to this solution would be, hopefully, improving health. Healthy people would lead to so many more things. Quality of life would also improve. The environment would also be a better place to live in. Cons would be funding for a situation like this. Picking and choosing which communities get the money, and how much money, would definetly be an issue.

  3. I think the issues addressed in this film could be corrected through a serious of proactive steps in which health services are issued to those in the community along with initial screenings and check ups being provided. Combine this with new and affordable housing in and strict zoning laws these issues could begin to subside within these communities. I believe that the issue is not for just one person to fix but through a collaboration of everyone in the community, the politicians, citizens, and physicians. If the politicians can bring better jobs to the area where people can receive higher pay in less hazardous work environments then the government would not have to kick in so much for subsidized housing and health care. They would be able to give more back to the community instead of just taking away. Another positive aspect of helping communities like this would be an increase in revenue in those areas. More people would go to these places, instead of just the locals, and more money can flourish there. There could be some repercussions that can incur such as where do the jobs come from? A company either moves or adds places of work and many major conglomerations only move so it would be taking jobs away from another town, which could cause this same problem to occur in that area. Some people would also argue that with out areas like these, wealth could not be had by others and some its not economically possible for everyone to be middle class or higher. If this were to occur the barriers would just change, a new poverty would emerge, and the cycle would repeat itself. We should not let this stop us from trying to help those in need and have compassion for those that surround us and continue to move toward finding a permanent solution.

  4. -Unnatural Causes- “Place Matters: I chose the “Place Matters” episode. This short film was about once prosperous communities in the Pacific Northwest, that have fallen on very hard times. This film discussed the prevalence of disease in these low income neighborhoods. A lot of these families, that left their home countries in order to make a better life in the United States, have found their health in actually worse shape than it was before. Many of the illnesses that are endemic in these communities are heart disease and asthma. The emotional stresses and the environmental stressors that many of the adults endure, cause them to have severe cardiac diseases, which can cut their lifespan by 30%. The children in these communities have such poor air quality, outside with pollution and inside with mold and other contaminants, that they are six times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. And since most of these people are too poverty stricken to have proper health insurance, they end up in the ER for every episode. There was some community action to help rebuild the neighborhood of High Point into a multi-income community, but some of the poorest of the poor lost out again and were permanently displaced.

    -Influences on Issues of Illness: There are many factors that affect the spread and treatment of illness, particularly in these impoverished, forgotten cities, like the one discussed in “Place Matters”. A lot of the community politics do not take into account the poorest residents and therefore they are under the radar and do not receive the services they are in need of. Also, the economics of a city fallen on hard times, causes those left there to be invisible to the surrounding communities, this is happening in parts of Detroit right now. Lastly, the environment presented in the film, shows that even if the residents are trying to take good care of their health and the health of their children, it is a lost cause, because they will still be exposed to the environmental hazards that make them ill in the first place. All of these factors lead to the constant spread of poverty and illness, which go hand and hand.

    • Sorry I had copied this accidentally so I could look at it while I was writing my response and don’t know how to delete it. My actual response will be posted below.

  5. A possible solution for this probably would be some sort of government action to help individuals that are suffering in those communities. This is defiantly an economical issue as well, since this relates directly back to the financial situations that all of these individuals are in; if it weren’t for their financial situation, these people wouldn’t be getting sick so often. When a whole community is suffering in this matter, there is no way for them to be able to get themselves out of situation without help from the government. When individuals are having serious health complications, which shorten their life, the government should be stepping in and set up some sort of program to help benefit these individuals. An example when inner cities develop parks, green life, or local gardens in order to create a healthier environment. Locals are responsible if they are somehow able to pool their resources together in order to make their situations more livable and healthier; which is why I feel as though the government is responsible for providing the funding that is necessary to make a difference. The potential pros to this situation is that the community would be able to come together and make a difference, and the environment would be so much better, thus raising life expectancy. The potential negatives to this situation are that the money gets distributed to individuals unevenly, or to communities unevenly, thus not fulfilling what progress could have been made for all the communities.

  6. Based on this summary it sounds like the problems are mainly due to environmental issues and stress. The environmental issues are probably self explanatory. The stress I would say is probably having to do with their job and trying to provide enough for their families, and trying to deal with these health issues. My solution to this problem would probably combine political, biological, and economical. The government would probably have to step in to deal with the environmental issues. If they could put in place some kind of policy that would cause the factories, or whatever it is that is causing all the air pollution, to deal with things in a more environmentally friendly ways. Improving the environment is in itself basically a biological fix. Economically, government again would probably have to do something. Either raise minimum wage so the people would have some more money to work with and maybe take away a little bit of the stress. Another thing they could do would be give them free health care or health insurance, or something, so that at least health issues are not adding to the list of things they have to stress about. The pros of these solutions are that they would help. The cons are that I am not good with political or government type things. I am more of a science person. So these solutions are most likely not feasible at all. Much easier said than done.

  7. After reading the summary on “Place Matters” it is clear that the issue of air quality and cardiac disease need to be addressed. The horrible air quality is contributing to the occurrence of asthma among the community members. My solution to this problem is political as well as individual and involves the cooperation of the government and the locals. The government could provide some financial assistance in terms of providing free health clinics with staff that is not only concerned with increasing public health but also knowledgable of the culture practices within this community. Screenings of both mental and psychological proportion could be provided to help treat and prevent the earlier signs of cardiac disease as well as alleviate some of the emotional stresses that this community endures. The cooperation between the local individuals and the government comes into action when employing cleaning efforts to rid the community of contaminants, mold and pollution. People with experience in cleaning the environment could be sent in to help aid and educate the population on how to clean their environment and keep it this way. The local population would then be responsible to maintaining a cleaner community utilizing what they have been taught.
    The potential pros to this is that with the improvements to the environment and the additional medical care an overall increase in health, not only physical but also mental, would result leading to a decrease in asthma and cardiac disease. Children would not face as many health risks and would pass on this clean bill of health to their children leading to future generations of better health. However, some of the possible cons to this solution could be an increased amount of emotional stress due to the fear of this American aid. Instead of trusting and allowing the government to help, fear and rejection could arise and ultimately lead to more health problems due to heightened stress levels, overall doing more harm than good.

  8. I agree that something should be done in communities like this. There should be programs run by the government that help out people who live in place like this. There is a lot of honor in individuals trying to help out the community, but there is a point when they cant do it by themselves. Shavon brings up a good point about a program similar to welfare, but for communities. There are some programs in existence that place doctors in some communities that don’t have other access to other health care. More programs like these would provide better care to communities that can’t get to hospitals or other care. Programs that work to improve the quality of living would also be a great asset. This way they could work to stop illness from a preventative level. These could include starting up local government funded farms, that would not only provide fresh produce for the community but it would also create a source of jobs as well.

    There would be a lot of obvious pros to programs like this, but there would also be some cons as well. The pros would include increasing the health of the individuals in the community, but also the communities health and make it a better place to live. Of course, this program would cost money. Funding would be a major con, but is something that could be over come. Another problem would be choosing which communities get to reap these benefits.

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