Country Walk is a peaceful and quiet community located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. This paper shows that diabetes is a major health problem in the area. Poor diet choices and a sedentary lifestyle have contributed to the upsurge of the health issue. The high number of Hispanics in the community has also contributed to the high number of cases of new diagnoses because they have a high predisposition to Type-2 diabetes.
This paper seeks to use community assessment strategies to identify the prevalent health issue in my community. To come up with a comprehensive understanding of the health issue, it also seeks to identify community characteristics that may be associated with the health problem. Using demographic and epidemiological data, this paper also identifies population health risks and uses system-based and collaborative approaches to assess factors that influence the community’s health problems.
My community is Country Walk, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The community is diverse and robust in terms of its racial makeup, nationalities, and social amenities. For example, it enjoys the diversity of schools, higher institutions of learning, businesses, amusement attractions, and nightlife. Country Walk’s positive attributes make it a good place to raise families and live. Jobs are also available for residents. However, the area has a “country feeling” where wooden fences divide homesteads and some houses are made from the same material. Peace and tranquility are some of the common characteristics that describe the community.
According to 2010 statistics, Country Walk Community has a population of 15,000 people (Neighborhood Scout, 2015). Most people who live in the community are young Hispanic families, mostly consisting of men and women who have had their first child. This demographic makes up more than 50% of the population (City-data, 2015). African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders are other racial groups that live in the community. They comprise 10%, 2.5%, 0.1% and 0.05% of the population, respectively (Neighborhood Scout, 2015). Experts say the concentration of residents who have a South American or Cuban ancestry in the community is among the highest in the U.S (City-data, 2015). A high percentage of people work in the military compared to 96.8% of other communities in the U.S (Neighborhood Scout, 2015). The Country Walk community area also has among the highest population of people who were born in another country compared to 95.9% of American neighborhoods (Neighborhood Scout, 2015).
Country Walk is in Miami-Dade County, which has the highest quality of life in the state of Florida. There is a 21% prevalence of obesity in the county, compared to the Florida’s 26% prevalence rate (County Health Rankings, 2015). The rate of obesity in the community is similar to the rate (21%) of physical inactivity in the county. Comparatively, Florida’s prevalence of physical inactivity is 23% (County Health Rankings, 2015). These lifestyle factors have led to the emergence of diabetes as a common lifestyle disease in the community. Statistics from the National Diabetes Surveillance System show that there is an 8.1% diabetes rate in the community (GeoStat, 2013). The average rate is 9.1% in the country (GeoStat, 2013). High blood pressure, obesity, and teen pregnancy are other leading health issues in the community (County Health Rankings, 2015).
Generally, Country Walk is a quiet place. In fact, during the day, it appears as if no one lives in the area. In the evenings, children play along the walkways and the neighborhood streets. At other times, they run alongside ice cream trucks wanting to buy a corn or a pop. The adult population often engages in activities like biking, jogging, and strolling. Enough social amenities in the community allow residents to engage in different activities of their choice. Popular amenities include a gym and a basketball court. Air pollution and other forms of environmental health issues have a low impact on the health of the residents because their effects are negligible. For example, besides the high number of cars in the community, there are few sources of air pollution. The 1992 Hurricane Andrew devastated this community by destroying shelters and causing widespread losses of human lives. Today, most of the housing structures in the community are products of this disaster (they are made of concrete as opposed to wood). Although most of them are new, some of them are old and need repair. Most of the homes are in gated communities. This set up has contributed to low crime rates in the community.
There are three hospitals within a seven-mile radius (Jackson Memorial Hospital, Baptist Hospital, and Baptist West Hospital). There are also nursing homes that act as rehabilitation facilities and pharmacies that have a wellness clinic. There are no homeless shelters in the community, but centers for rehabilitating abused women and other victims of domestic violence exist. Like other regions of America, the affordability of health care is an issue in Country Walk. Old people are more concerned with this issue compared to the young population.
Diabetes is the risk factor for the Country Walk community. This health issue relates to one goal of the Healthy 2020, which is to reduce the disease burden of diabetes and improve the quality of life for people who suffer from it (Healthy People, 2014). Objectives D-1 and D-16 also relate to this objective because they strive to reduce the number of new diagnoses and increase prevention behaviors among persons with a high risk of diabetes, respectively (Healthy People, 2014). Part of the problem contributing to the emergence of diabetes in Country Walk is the high number of fast food restaurants in the community. In some locations, more than four fast-food restaurants operate. For example, in one prime intersection, McDonald, Tropical, Subway, Polo, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s sell fast foods. The presence of these stores could make one easily think that most people do not cook in their homes anymore.
The prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle among most residents also contributes to the problem (Kaku, 2010). For example, because of the high number of cars in the community, many people rarely walk. The high number of Hispanics living in the community also contributes to the emergence of diabetes as a major health problem because health reports have shown that this population group has a higher predisposition to type-2 diabetes, compared to other population groups (Kaku, 2010). Accurate estimates show that 65% of this population is likely to suffer from this condition (Kaku, 2010). Nonetheless, the low levels of physical activity and the intake of unhealthy foods are leading causes of diabetes in the community.
Generally, Country Walk is a peaceful, quiet, and safe community. Environmental health issues have a low impact on the wellbeing of its residents. This is why many families choose to raise their children in this area. Nonetheless, diet and lifestyle issues have contributed to the upsurge of diabetes as a serious health problem. This health issue partly emerges from the high number of Hispanics living in the community because health reports have shown that this population group has a higher predisposition to type-2 diabetes, compared to other population groups. Nonetheless, poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle are the greatest contributors of this condition.
City-data. (2015). Country Walk, Florida. Web.
County Health Rankings. (2015). Compare Counties in Florida. Web.
GeoStat. (2013). Country Walk, Florida — Health Concerns. Web.
Healthy People. (2014). Diabetes. Web.
Kaku, K. (2010). Pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes and Its Treatment Policy. JMAJ 53(1), 41–46.
Neighborhood Scout. (2015). About Country Walk. Web.