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What County or City Have You Chosen?
For this assignment, I chose Denver city in Colorado. There are two reasons for this. First, I live in Denver. Thus, I am aware of the current local health care policies at the center of the many discourses within the city hall. Secondly, several health issues in Denver are also being discussed across various Colorado state departments.
Health Issues Discussed on the Web Page
The issues being discussed on the Denver Public Health page encapsulate the necessity to improve the health of the community through environmental assessment and improvement. These estimates are based on three factors: equity, prevention, and the importance of place. Other topics that are also being discussed on the website include access to care, injury prevention, tobacco use, prevention and rehabilitation, healthy eating, maternal health, and behavioral health (Denver Public Health, n.d).
Impact of the Department of Environmental Health
Each of the state departments plays a significant role in the health of Denver residents. However, for this paper, I selected the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), which is critical in the pursuit of better healthcare for the community. More importantly, the department is not limited to the environment but also involves other health-related issues that fall under its jurisdiction. Therefore, the Department of Environmental Health improves healthcare within the city precincts through:
- Provision of HIV resources – The Denver Office of HIV Resources, which falls within the Department of Environmental Health, invests federal funding for HIV-related care and any other related services. In turn, the resources have significantly reduced the levels of HIV in the city.
- Formulation of practical food system policies – Naturally, most cities have food issues, and this has an overall impact on the health of the local community. Lack of natural food, for instance, leads to high levels of consumption of junk food, which affects the health of the general populace. However, through this role, the DEH ensures that the local community has access to natural food through its various programs.
- The DEH helps in combating tobacco addiction and offers rehabilitation facilities and counseling.
- Environmental assessment activities carried out by the DEH is crucial in efforts to conserve the environment.
- Finally, health vulnerability in Denver is an issue that needs to be regularly addressed. The Denver Department of Environmental Health helps in the evaluation of heatwaves and advises on how to tackle heat vulnerability (Department of Environmental Health, n.d).
It is important to acknowledge the fact that the DEH does not carry out the stated mandate and programs without external assistance. It collaborates with bodies such as the Denver Community Health Matters, Denver Public Health, and organizations such as Be Healthy Denver.
How Can a Citizen Be Involved?
The role of the community is undeniable in the implementation of policies and programs. Indeed, in order for local policies to work, residents have to be involved. Necessarily, it can be assumed that the driving force behind these undertakings is the community. Without the support of the local population, it would be impossible for these programs to be successful. Therefore, the local community can participate in improving health indicators in their neighborhoods by adhering to health standards, taking part in environmental conservation efforts, practicing healthy eating habits, and volunteering for crucial public health programs. All these will ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Denver Public Health (n.d). Denver community health assessment. Web.
Department of Environmental Health (n.d). Community health. Web.