MHA@GW Module 4
Community and Public Health
Module 4 Key Competencies
Business Skills and Knowledge
- Solving problems and making decisions
- Planning and managing projects
- Strategic planning
- Quantitative analysis
- Professional and community contribution
Health Care Knowledge
- Health care issues and trends
- Population health and status assessment
- Health policy formulation, implementation and evaluation
As a clinical provider of inpatient acute care services, my interaction with community and public health beyond the walls of the hospital has been limited to the distorted view of ordering home healthcare services. Concepts such as population health and the social determinants of health were unclear to me. This course has assisted me to build an improved understanding of several concepts and skills within this discipline that are dedicated to improving the wellness of communities throughout our nation.
Reading Kindig and Stoddart’s description of population health provided the clarity that I needed for this concept:
The health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group and we argue that the field of population health includes health outcomes, patterns of health determinants, and policies and interventions that link the two (Kindig & Stoddart, 2003).
In addition, I also realized that I needed to achieve a better understanding of what is intended with the use of the word: population. Kindig and Stoddard have provided additional insight with their description of concept for population:
These groups are often geographic populations such as nations or communities, but can also be other groups such as employees, ethnic groups, disabled persons, prisoners, or any other defined group (Kindig & Stoddart, 2003)
The additional understanding the I gained from the description for the concept of the social determinants of health (SDH) progressed my comprehension of interventions that can be used to improve the health of populations. The SDH have been described as the social factors, economic factors, and physical environment factors that are largely responsible for the health variance that individuals experience over the 10 percent to 25 percent of health variance that individuals reportedly experience from medical healthcare services (IBM Watson Health, 2016).
Synthesizing course concepts such as these has equipped me to progress toward the application of important tools such as the use of the community health needs assessment (CHNA) within the discipline of population health. The CHNA process conducts an evaluation of a population from the perspective of the community members with the purpose of identifying and prioritizing the determinants of health that should be addressed. The process of the CHNA is a collaborative effort that also includes an anchor organization such as the community’s hospital and community benefit organizations (CBO) search as faith-based groups and civic groups.
Once conducted, the CHNA provides the evidence to develop the community health improvement plan (CHIP). The CHIP details the interventions and initiatives that all community stakeholders have mutually agreed upon to address the SDH identified to effect improved health and wellness of the populations within the community. Cooperating CBOs may align themselves to create a continuum of care that offers multiple resources to address complex SDH such as food deserts and community violence.
Course assignments such as the Community Wide Advocacy Campaign provided me with the opportunity to apply all the concepts and skills that I learned to work with my two partnering classmates to develop a campaign that would address the complex SDH of food desserts within a defined population in Durham County, North Carolina. The Equitable Access to Exceptional Nutrition (EATEN) campaign that we developed incorporated the knowledge and tools gained throughout this course.
In closing, I anticipate using the concepts and skills that I have learned from this course in my future career as a leader within a health system by actively seeking to support those initiatives that will align my organization to demonstrate community benefit through linkage with community health improvement plans that are undertaken to better the health of populations.
IBM Watson Health. (2016). Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health. Retrieved June 3, 2018, from https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?htmlfid=HPW03038USEN
Kindig, D., & Stoddart, G. (2003). What Is Population Health? American Journal of Public Health, 93(3), 380–383. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.93.3.380