Community Health Essay

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This overview will identify and describe community health as a concept.   With healthcare reform underway, it is important to clarify the meaning of a community‚Äôs health so that there is communication among lay people and professionals which reflects their beliefs about community health improvement. It is important not to limit the understanding of community health to what health departments do. Community health addresses a wide range of populations with broad determinants of health. Several attributes help define this term, such as community ownership, cross disciplinary patience, cultural sensitivity, empowerment, health promotion and disease prevention (Baisch, 2009).  
One definition that carries the theme of community ownership is provided by the Institute of Medicine (2003), which defines community health as a place where people provide leadership in assessing their own resources and need, where public health and social infrastructure and polices support health and where essential public health services, including quality health care (Baisch, 2009). Community ownership means that community members own and direct the activities that constitute their definition of health for their community, and this defines the needed professional partners for problem-solving in the community, such as epidemiologists, economists, social workers, therapists, physicians, and nurses (Baisch, 2009).
Another definition of community health that has the theme of cross- disciplinary patience and cultural sensitivity is provided by Kim-Godwin, Clarke, and Barton (2001), which defines this as the desire and effort to develop health programs and services in a manner that respects the cultural diversity of populations within the community. Cross-disciplinary patience calls for a collaboration that overcomes the differences of race, class, and age (Kim-Godwin et al., 2001). Culturally competent, professionals are better able to communicate their knowledge and expertise to community...

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