Assignment: Local Health Department

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Assignment: Local Health Department

Assignment: Local Health Department

Assignment: Local Health Department

Week 3 discussion Caring for Vulnerable Populations Review the Week 3 Case Study (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. This case study focuses on a vulnerable young woman who is facing many risk factors. Discuss several risk factors that may impact health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Assurance is one of the three core functions of public health. Find a resource in your community (other than WIC) that could assist Mary during her pregnancy. Start by searching the Internet for your local health department’s website. What services does it provide for pregnant women, those living in poverty, or those with mental health concerns? What about your local welfare office? Does it provide prenatal or mental health services? Are there any service organizations, crisis pregnancy centers, or churches providing help for pregnant women or those experiencing mental health concerns? (The Internet, your local newspaper, and the telephone book may also help you locate resources.) Briefly describe the types of services that you found. Choose one agency and assess this agency in terms of the 4 A’s. Is it accessible, acceptable, affordable, or available for Mary or other pregnant women that you case manage? Are there adequate resources for other vulnerable populations in your community

A local health department is a government agency in the United States on the front lines of public health. Local health departments may be entities of local or state government and often report to a mayor, city council, county board of health or county commission. There are approximately 2,800 local health departments across the United States.

These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to ensure the safety of the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. Members of a community may not always see the work done by local health departments, but people live healthier lives and are safer because of the work of local health departments.[citation needed]

Local health departments help create and maintain conditions in communities that support healthier choices in areas such as diet, exercise, and tobacco. They lead efforts that prevent and reduce the effects of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. They detect and stop outbreaks of diseases like measles, tuberculosis, and foodborne illnesses. They protect children and adults from infectious diseases through immunization. Local health departments also conduct programs that are shown to effectively make communities healthier. Some local health departments programs include:[1][2]

Helping ensure clean drinking water, access to safe and healthy foods, and children’s safety through use of car seats.
Enforcing laws and regulations that keep people safe (e.g. smoke-free air laws, restaurant inspections, water and sewer treatment, etc.).
Tracking, investigating and stopping diseases and other public health threats (e.g. foodborne illness, HIV/AIDS, etc.).
Developing emergency plans and responding to disasters when they strike (e.g. bioterrorism, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, etc.).
Mobilizing community partners to work together to address local public health challenges (e.g. a lack of safe places for kids to play after school, limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.).
Inspecting restaurants, community farmers’ markets, street fair vendors, and other venues where the public gathers to eat.
Informing the public about health problems in the community and how to stay safe.
Local health departments play a central role in providing essential public health services in communities that fall into the following ten categories:

Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.

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