"United States Department of Health and Human Services" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system. United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) developed the Healthy People (HP) program which represents benchmarks of the nation’ s health improvement for a decade. The newest indicators are projected in the HP 2020 (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009). In relation to this, this paper will explore the goal of eliminating health inequalities and the provision of equal healthcare and discuss how nurse practitioners can help to reach this goal. Rationale and Support One of the HP 2020 goals is to eliminate health inequalities and provide equal healthcare to all people disregarding race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, or geographic location (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009).
Socio-economic status plays a big role in the inability to access healthcare services. Currently, many individuals cannot afford medical insurance. These individuals lack medical services and the shortage of primary care providers negatively affects people’ s ability to access health services. Through considering the improvement of health inequalities, health care providers can help to reach better outcomes in marginalized areas, such as decreasing the rate of preventable diseases and promotion healthy behaviors (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009). Overview of Oklahoma’ s Community Oklahoma has low ranked in multiple key health status indicators.
Also, health disparities are still high and the numbers of individuals who are not insured in this population are increasing. Statistics show that in Oklahoma, obesity is more widespread among American Indians and African Americans than in Caucasians and Hispanics. Therefore, the diabetes rate is much higher in American Indians than in any other race. Over 17.5 percent of Oklahoma’ s people are uninsured and have limited access to healthcare due to socio-economic status (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009). Plan for Reaching Goal Nurse practitioner (NP) is a profession that was developed in response to the rapidly growing need for healthcare and a shortage of primary health care providers.
Over the past several decades NPs in Oklahoma have provided quality primary care to patients in different healthcare settings. NP is able to reduce costly healthcare, therefore, helping in decreasing socio-economic health disparities (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009). One major issue that the NPS needs to be implemented that has not been achieved by the nurse executive in decreasing the socio-economic gaps is through periodically volunteer services to individuals who are not insured in the special medical clinics.
For example, Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa has Xavier medical clinic, which runs exclusively by volunteer healthcare providers, offers free primary healthcare services, assists with referrals to the volunteer specialists, and promotes healthy behaviors among Oklahoman’ s. In addition, NPS should raise public and provider awareness of racial and ethnic disparities by performing educational presentations to the coworkers and to the community. Furthermore, integration of community resources into the everyday practice NPs can help to provide positive input forward overarching HP 2020 goal.
For example, the Oklahoma State Department of Health has an Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign; the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa provides primary care, preventive measurements, and education to the American Indian population. Should this be put into consideration, the nurse practitioner will leave a mark that the PNP has never been able to achieve (Edelstein& Sharlin, 2009). Conclusion If health equity through resource opportunities is achieved, then all citizens will be positioned to adopt healthy behaviors, which will lead to improved health status for Oklahoma.
NPS can contribute to health equity by raising public and provider awareness, volunteering services, and utilizing health resources.
ReferencesEdelstein, S., & Sharlin, J. (2009). Life cycle nutrition: An evidence-based approach. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.