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Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health.

Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health.

There are several apartment complexes in McComb, but I chose to focus on those that are owned and operated by the government in my windshield survey. These apartments are known as “projects” because they are located on opposite sides of McComb. According to the (Urban Dictionary Website, 2010), “projects” are housing occupancies owned by a central or local government authority. According to the website, the term “project” is also associated with being known as the “trap,” a “struggle,” and is frequently made up of people who live paycheck to paycheck or on government assistance. On a daily basis, the tenants are fighting for their lives; they pretend to be blind when violent crimes occur in order to protect themselves and their families. The projects are known for having a lot of “hustlin” (doing whatever it takes to make money) so that they can make a living (Urban Dictionary, 2010).

My windshield survey included two housing units: Community Parks and the McComb Housing Authority. They are both low-income housings, but the funding is not the same. The worst of the two, Community Parks, is a 120-project-based rental unit with a Project-Based Section 8 Contract with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that pays the majority of the tenant’s rent. Employed tenants are expected to pay at least 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) toward rent; all other tenants, regardless of income, must pay $25 per month (Layfield, D., 2018). The McComb Housing Authority operates three complexes with a total of over 500 units and does not participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. All of the units are low-income housing that is either rent-subsidized or income-based. Employed tenants must pay at least 30% of their AGI in rent each month, and all others must pay a minimum rent of up to $50. (Layfield, 2018).

The government first implemented low-income housing 70 years ago to assist Caucasian low-income families in obtaining shelter due to dangerous and unsanitary housing environments caused by their socioeconomic and financial difficulties (Pappas A., 2013). Low-income housing in my community deteriorated over time and became known as the “ghetto.” A “ghetto” is a section of a city, particularly a densely populated slum area, that is primarily inhabited by members of an ethnic or another minority group, often due to socioeconomic restrictions, pressures, or hardships (Dictionary.com., 2018). Both of these areas in my community are drug-infested, have violent crime problems, and suffer greatly as a result of their numerous socioeconomic issues.

McComb is a city in Mississippi.

My hometown is McComb, Mississippi, which is located in the state’s southwest. Henry Simpson McComb of the New Orleans Railroad founded McComb. Mr. McComb, the predecessor of the present-day Canadian National Railways (formerly the Illinois Central Railroad), did not like the city saloon lifestyle of New Orleans, so he relocated the railroad’s maintenance shops. He purchased the land that is now called McComb, MS, and after doing so, he built other shops and sold them at discounted prices with the stipulation that no alcohol would be sold in the city limits (Mississippi Genealogy and History Network Executive Council [MSGHN], 2018). Because of the railroad’s proximity, this area of town was soon dubbed Downtown McComb, and business owners here were very successful.

McComb, Mississippi, is not only known for the railroad, but it also played an important role in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s as the site of the first Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) voter registration project, where voter registration activist Herbert Lee was murdered, and where Brenda Travis was expelled by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). McComb was also the site of several bombings motivated by racism (MSGHN, 2018).

McComb, MS, is located in Pike County, which has a population of 39,468 people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). When compared to 2010, the population was down by -23% to 40,407. Pike County has 44.5% Caucasians, 53.6% Black/African Americans, 1.7% Hispanic/Latino, 0.6% Asian, and 0.13% other races combined. There are 18,441 housing units, with 68.1% of them being owner-occupied. In 2016, the median household income in Pike County was $31,511, and the poverty rate was 30.1%. In 2017, 15.7% of people over the age of 25 in Pike County had a bachelor’s degree or higher (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017).

Implications

When visiting these areas, it is clear that economic and social factors have a significant impact on the lives of the people who live and are raised in low-income housing projects in a variety of ways. The first way is by how their environment impacts their lives daily. The occupants live in these units, which have high drug and crime rates, endangering their own and their families safety. Because of their surroundings, the tenants and their loved ones are at a higher risk of being injured or killed. The lack of resources, such as transportation, medical care, and employment, is the next socioeconomic factor affecting this group. Many families in this community lack transportation to the grocery store, the hospital, doctor’s appointments, and work. Pike County, unlike major cities, lacks public transportation. We have one taxi cab service that is not always available. Some elderly people schedule appointments with Medicaid transportation to get to doctor’s appointments, but the downside is that they may arrive at 8 am, only to be picked up at 4 pm and not return home until 6 pm. Many renters rely on family and friends for transportation, which is not always reliable, resulting in another loss. Job losses as a result of being unable to work without reliable transportation. They are also unable to buy nutritious foods for themselves and their children, causing them to consume foods that are bad for their health and cause malnourishment leading to greater health concerns.

Finally, another socioeconomic factor affecting low-income families’ lives is a lack of access to health care and insurance coverage. These tenants live 10 to 15 miles from the nearest hospital, and as previously stated, the majority do not have transportation and cannot afford healthcare insurance premiums. Once transported, the individual can seek medical attention, but he or she does not have insurance or the financial means to go to urgent care or a primary care physician for non-urgent medical conditions. Due to a lack of insurance coverage, they are forced to seek treatment in the local ER for minor complaints. To reduce the number of non-urgent cases seen in the ER, the one Trauma Level 3 hospital in McComb (Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center) implemented a program in 2017 in which patients with non-urgent complaints were required to pay $200 upfront to be seen in the ER. Not everyone lacks health insurance; some have Medicaid, Chips, and other government-provided health insurance.

When I assess this vulnerable population as a community, I consider how we can work together to improve things. First, we must contact lawmakers, beginning with local officials, to ensure that they are aware of the needs of this population and can assist them in establishing community resources. Resources such as more programs to help the elderly in their home get their medication, get food, get to appointments and not have to stay away from home all day after going to an 8 am appointment. Another resource would be job fairs and training to help people prepare for interviews and succeed on the job. Second, as healthcare providers, we could provide free annual health screenings. We could collaborate with local churches in the community, visit housing projects, and hold health fairs on various diseases several times a year to keep the community informed. Thirdly, with the assistance of local churches and other leaders in the community, we can host food drives and take items collected and give to those families in need.

Health is defined as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, rather than merely the absence of disease and infirmity” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016, p. 380). This population is very unhealthy, and it is not only a physical disease, as health is described above. After completing my windshield survey, I realized that this population is in desperate need of guidance, or else the generation of children I saw playing on the streets will be destined to repeat the same behaviors, and the cycle will continue. The cycle of relying on government assistance, living in low-income housing with drugs and violence, living in communities with limited resources, and a lack of jobs, health care, and food. As an advanced practice nurse, I intend to give back to this community because, in addition to conducting this survey, I was once one of these tenants. My mother lived in the McComb Housing Authority for about five years after divorcing her husband when I was 16, and I lived in Community Parks while attending the local junior college’s Associate Nursing Degree program. Going back to complete the survey was surreal for me because I was one of the lucky ones. Every day, when I got home from school and saw my “projects,” it gave me the motivation to keep going because I wanted better for myself and my son. That is why I will fight for this community because it is me, and I am it.

References

Dictionary.com. (2018). Ghetto. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ghetto?s=t

Layfield, D. (2018). Community parks apartments. Retrieved from https://affordablehousingonline.com/housing-search/Mississippi/Mccomb/Community- Park-Apartments/10014593

Layfield, D. (2018). The housing authority of the city of McComb. Retrieved from https://affordablehousingonline.com/housing-authority/Mississippi/The-Housing- Authority-of-the-City-of-McComb/MS003

Made in Mississippi. (2017). 82 Counties, 1 Mississippi. Retrieved from http://www.madeinmississippi.us/82-counties-1-mississippi/

Map data. (2018). McComb, MS. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/maps/place/McComb, +MS/@31.2514337,-90.5091905,12.22z/data=!4m5!3m4! 1s0x8627b78d0d1a09f7:0x49384a3bb8284108!8m2!3d31.2437872!4d-90.4531535

Mississippi Genealogy and History Network Executive Council. (2018). Pike County Mississippi Genealogy & History Network. Retrieved from https://pike.msghn.org/

Pappas A. (2013). The history of public housing: It started over 70 years ago, yet still evolving. Social Work Helper. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkhelper.com/2013/02/04/the- history-of-public-housing-started-over-70-years-ago-yet-still-evolving/

The Great American Stations. (2018). McComb, MS (MCB). Retrieved from http://www.greatamericanstations.com/stations/mccomb-ms-mcb/

The Urban Dictionary. (2018). Projects. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=projects

United States Census Bureau. (V2017). Quick facts pike county, mississippi: McComb city, mississippi. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/pikecountymississippi,mccombcitymississip pi/AFN120212

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Question 


You are the Population Health Nurse:

1) Identify and elaborate on at least two (2) historical figures that became important to the development of Public Health Nursing and explain why.

Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health.

Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health.

2) Relate the epidemiological processes to the current COVID-19 pandemic

3) Identify a negative environmental influence health story, (ex. the water supply in Flint, Michigan ONLY- use a different environmental influence).  Explain how individuals, families, and/ or communities have been affected. Now discuss measures needed to foster a health-promoting environment.

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