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Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2020

Identification of Community

San Joaquin is one of the counties in the state of California (San Joaquin County, 2016). San Joaquin County has a population of around 690,000 people. One unique aspect of this community is that San Joaquin City is in another county. The county seat is in Stockton City. Created in the year 1850, this county borrows its name from the San Joaquin River. The county is famous for the Tracy Tire Fire of 1998.

The authorities allowed the 1998 fire to burn for over two years because extinguishing it could pose numerous environmental threats (San Joaquin County, 2016). In terms of size, this county has an area of 3,690 square kilometers. Approximately 2.5 percent of the area is covered by water. The county boasts of a national area known as the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge (SJRNWR). The county is among the top 100 most populous metropolitans in the United States (San Joaquin County, 2016).

The major newspapers published in the county include the Lodi News-Sentinel and The Record (San Joaquin County, 2016). The county boasts of the Stockton Airport and Port of Stockton. San Joaquin County is known as the home of walnut processing in the world.

Tools, Description of San Joaquin County and Interpretation of Collected Data

Several tools were used to identify the health risks and needs associated with the county. The population economic status assessment tool was used to examine the income of different groups in the county. The tool also examined the demographics of the county. The community safety inventory was used to analyze the major health problems and risk factors. The cultural assessment tool outlined the social issues affecting more people in the community.

The disaster assessment and planning guide focused on the county’s preparedness to deal with various events such as fire outbreaks (San Joaquin County, 2016). The windshield survey examined specific issues such as transport, news media, and the availability of amenities. The population health scavenger hunt tool identified the existing health opportunities and support for many people in the county.

Population Economic Status

Analysts have indicated that the population of the county was around 726,000 in 2015. The county has been observed to be one of the most diverse in the state. The racial constitution of the county includes 58 percent of whites, 6.8 percent of African Americans, 11.4 percent of Asian Americans, and 1.1 percent of Native Americans (San Joaquin County, 2016). The remaining 16.3 percentage is constituted of the other races (San Joaquin County, 2016). Statistics indicate that 54.3 percent of adults are married or staying as couples. Studies have indicated that the average family in the county had 3.5 individuals. The average household revenue stands at 41,200 US dollars.

Males had an annual income of 39,200 while females had 27,500 dollars annually (San Joaquin County, 2016). Around 17.7 percent of the county’s population lives below the poverty line. The majority of the affected persons are either below 17 or above 65 years of age. The number of criminal offenses is one in every one thousand persons. The level of unemployment in the county is 9.8 percent. Around 21.6 percent of the population lack health insurance coverage. Twenty-six percent of the population has limited access to dental health care. Almost 42 percent of the population faces challenges whenever trying to access various health services.

Disaster Assessment and Planning

The occurrence of the Tracy Tire Fire disaster in 1998 led to new measures in an attempt to prevent future events (San Joaquin County, 2016). Since the county is largely an agricultural area, small-scale disasters can affect the welfare of more citizens. With the county receiving heavy rains annually, floods are usually common thus calling for better planning. Disaster assessment, planning, and coordination are executed by the Office of Emergency Services (San Joaquin County, 2016). This office is a division of the General Services Department. Whenever there is a disaster, the department collaborates with different healthcare organizations, the police, and the local agencies to address the problem. The local Red Cross office plays a positive role whenever there is a disaster in the county.

The county has several avenues to sensitize the population whenever there is a disaster. Notifications can be done via various Weather Services. Radios, televisions, police departments inform more people about every disaster. The Office of Emergency Services (EOC) provides immediate support whenever there is an emergency (Office of Emergency Services, 2016). The OEC provides adequate care, shelter, food, and clothing materials whenever there is a disaster. The agency collaborates with different stakeholders and partners to address the needs of more people. The nature of the disaster dictates the support systems and evacuation mechanisms employed by the EOC.

Community Safety Inventory

Several issues affect the lives of many people in this county. To begin with, agriculture is practiced thus exposing more citizens to chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides. The presence of a major river in the county increases the risk of contamination to more people and natural creatures. Greenhouse gases are emitted by different manufacturing plants. Statistics show that 2.4 percent of all households are at risk of contamination from these chemicals and gases. The county has several disposal units for materials such as tires. This fact explains why the 1998 Tracy Tire Fire disaster changed the county’s history forever (Office of Emergency Services, 2016).

Groundwater has continued to face new threats due to various economic activities. Frequent power outages make it impossible for more people to engage in their economic activities. Traffic accidents are common in this county. The presence of major highways in the county increases the prevalence of accidents (San Joaquin County, 2016).

Cultural Assessment

San Joaquin County is known by many people in the country as the home to the largest city in that field for bankruptcy (San Joaquin County, 2016). This county is celebrated by many Americans because it is one of the most diverse in the nation. However, the county is characterized by huge economic gaps between racial groups (San Joaquin County, 2016). Some parts of the county have been characterized by increased cases of homicide. Many people do not have access to quality care.

The county is associated with various farming activities. The community struggles with a wide range of challenges such as mental illness, economic instability, unaffordable housing, poor dental health, and obesity (San Joaquin County 2016 community health needs assessment, 2016). The Central Valley has been characterized by increased use of illegal substances and a high prevalence of asthma.

Windshield Survey

The completed windshield survey exposed several attributes in San Joaquin County. To begin with, the survey indicated that many homes where single-family dwelling (San Joaquin County 2016 community health needs assessment, 2016). Most of the buildings were constructed using brick and concrete. A small number of houses especially in Central Valley were constructed using boards (San Joaquin County 2016 community health needs assessment, 2016).

Another unique attribute of the county is that most of the homes have modern features and lighting systems. The homes have trees and flower gardens. The yards are carefully designed and maintained. Although many people have private cars, public transport is offered by various companies such as the San Joaquin Regional Transit District. This company provides adequate transportation services across Stockton City.

The county has three airports that support the needs of many citizens in the county. These include Tracy Municipal Airport, Lodi Airport, and Stockton Metropolitan Airport. Stockton has well-lit streets. The sidewalks in this urban region are carefully maintained and clean. There are several grocery stores, chain stores, and gas stations throughout the town. Stockton City also has several shops and cafeterias that can be accessed by different community members.

The community boasts of several publications such as The Record, Big Monkey Magazines, and the Lodi News-Sentinel. Pacific is another common newspaper that features sports and opinions (San Joaquin County, 2016). The famous TV show is Sons of Anarchy and is set in a fictional town in the county. Many people in the county embrace the use of various social media networks such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Scavenger Hunt

San Joaquin County Public Health Services partners with different stakeholders and communities to promote the health outcomes of more people in the county. The agency offers useful information to ensure more people eat balanced foods. The Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program is a campaign undertaken by the department to support individuals who abuse drugs. The department offers numerous ideas to ensure parents create the best environments for their infants. The department promotes most of the programs undertaken to address the health needs of the population (San Joaquin County 2016 community health needs assessment, 2016).

For example, the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (NEOP) program are used to address the health issues affecting more people in the county. The department is located on Hazelton Avenue, Stockton. Citizens can visit their physical location or call to receive timely health information. Users can acquire vital information about the department through social media networks such as Facebook.

The Fire Prevention Bureau of San Joaquin County liaises with different departments such as the Sherriff’s Office to deliver adequate services whenever there is a fire breakout (Office of Emergency Services, 2016). The department provides quality services throughout the county. The department adopted the California Fire Code in 2013 in an attempt to improve the quality of its services. The bureau collaborates with the Community Development Department to ensure more people have access to fire management services (San Joaquin County, 2016). Firefighters are usually equipped with the best resources and skills. Useful information about the department can be obtained from the county’s website. The agency responds to accidents, fires, and rescue missions.

The Office of the Sherriff for San Joaquin County was established in 1850. The Sherriff serves for four years and can be reelected by the county’s citizens. The current Sherriff is Steve Moore (Office of Emergency Services, 2016). The Sherriff’s Office plays a significant role in promoting the best environment for every individual. The office provides desirable law enforcement ideas and services. The Office works 24/7 to improve the level of security. The department’s physical address is 7000 Michael Canlis Blvd, French Camp (San Joaquin County, 2016).

The YMCA of San Joaquin County is located on 2105 W. March Lane, Suite 1 in Stockton City. The major programs include pre-school support, day camp, and child care. Sporting activities for the youth include soccer, basketball, flag football, Lincoln basketball, and baseball (YMCA of San Joaquin County, 2016). The YMCA also focuses on several initiatives to support youth development and encourage more individuals to engage in social responsibility.

The YMCA has “a free-weight center, basketball courts, gymnastics arena, tennis courts, running track, and an aerobics studio” (YMCA of San Joaquin County, 2016, para. 4). Individuals are allowed to register for free. Those with financial needs are encouraged to sign up. The YMCA offers financial support to different individuals with various needs. Scholarships are also provided to support the needs of more people. Citizens with diverse needs and members should visit the office from Monday to Friday.

The office operates from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (YMCA of San Joaquin County, 2016). The office is closed on public holidays such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Presidents’ Day. Members of the society can offer their donations to support more individuals in the county. The YMCA offers new opportunities thus encouraging youths to hang out with their peers and develop better behaviors.

San Joaquin County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program supports the needs of children, women, and infants in the county. The program is managed and monitored by the County Government. The office is located at 620 N Aurora St, Stockton City (San Joaquin County, 2016). The office can be accessed from Monday to Friday.

Other Epidemiological Indicators

A survey conducted in early 2016 indicated that the number of people dying from cancer-related conditions was 175 in every 100,000 citizens in the county. The infant mortality rate was 6 in every one thousand births. Asthma was seen as a major health problem affecting the people of the county. The survey indicated that 21 percent of the population was affected by the health condition (San Joaquin County, 2016). Diabetes is a major disease that continues to affect more people in this county. Around 10.4 percent of the population suffers from diabetes. Child obesity has increased compared to the national average.

Over 21 percent of children in the county have a body mass index of >30 (San Joaquin County, 2016). Heart disease affects over 6 percent of the population. Sixteen percent of the population is uninsured while 31 percent receive either Medicaid or Medicare (San Joaquin County 2016 community health needs assessment, 2016). The survey also indicated that over 25 percent of children were living in poverty. The majority of the households (41.3 percent) recorded a low-income status.

Three Problems in San Joaquin County Based on Healthy People 2020 Goals

Several problems have been observed to affect the welfare and health outcomes of many people in San Joaquin County. The three major problems identified in this county include obesity, asthma, and inequality. The Healthy People 2020 topic “Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity” can play a positive role in dealing with the problem of obesity. According to the initiative, a healthy body can make it easier for the body to fight various diseases such as obesity (Obesity prevention in San Joaquin County, 2016).

Balanced diets can support the health needs of more citizens in this county. More people in the county should be encouraged to avoid fast foods and engage in physical exercises. Over 73 percent of the county’s dwellers do not engage in physical activities. Healthy People 2020 offers new approaches that can deliver positive results. The Environmental Quality Indicator initiated by Healthy People 2020 can play a positive role in dealing with asthma. The government can identify several measures to minimize the presence of specific allergens because they trigger asthma. A cleaner environment initiative will support the health needs of more people and address the problem of asthma.

One of the overarching goals of the Healthy People 2020 initiative is “to eliminate disparities and improve the health outcomes of all groups” (Healthy People 2020, 2016, para. 3). That being the case, the goal should be used to address the problem of disparity in the county. This is the case because more children lack basic needs. The number of households living below the poverty line is extremely high. New measures should be implemented in an attempt to deal with this challenge and make it possible for more people to lead better lives.

Problem to Address about Healthy People 2020 Objectives

Overweight and obesity have become common health problems in San Joaquin County. That being the case, the county should implement various initiatives to support the health needs of its citizens by the Healthy People 2020 objectives. This county has several resources that can be used to deal with this problem. For instance, San Joaquin Public Health Services supports several programs to address the problem of obesity. These programs include the Network for a Healthy California Campaign and the Central Regional Obesity Prevention Program (Obesity prevention in San Joaquin County, 2016).

The first campaign usually targets people from low-income backgrounds or residents. The second program has been focusing on the health needs of many people in South Stockton. The role played by these programs is to ensure the problem of obesity in the county is addressed (Murphy, 2011). Several universities and community organizations have been included in the programs to deliver positive results. It should also be observed that the county’s YMCA has been encouraging more youths to engage in various exercises. The presence of city parks and footpaths can play a positive role in encouraging more people to engage in physical exercises.

Primary Prevention Topic

The Healthy People 2020 initiative outlines several strategies that can deal with the major health problems affecting the American population (Obesity prevention in San Joaquin County, 2016). Borrowing a lot from this initiative, the best topic to deal with obesity is a physical activity and healthy nutrition. The current resources and organizations available in San Joaquin County should be used to support the needs of more people. Measures should be undertaken to encourage more citizens to exercise regularly. They can do so by walking, jogging, or engaging in different physical activities. The presence of gymnastic studios in the county will support this initiative.

Balanced diets characterized by vegetables and fibers should be considered by more individuals in the county. The San Joaquin Public Health Services can undertake numerous initiatives to educate and sensitize more people about the dangers of fast-foods (Murphy, 2011). Such individuals will be encouraged to eat balanced diets every day.


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