By Dulce Maria Ruelas
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
April is National Minority Health month where we take the opportunity to raise awareness on how our lifestyle plays an active role in determining our overall health and is promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within the Office of Minority Health (OMH).
OMH is a section of the federal government that dedicates initiatives and resources to advocate for our nation’s health. There is a theme every year to bridge different aspects that affect the health of minority populations— Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (OMH, 2019). This year’s theme is how physical activity needs to be worked into our lives every day.
The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions instills in its faculty, staff and students the need of being culturally competent and comprehensive in understanding diverse populations. Being able to prepare the knowledge base for the needs within our clinical or non-clinical practices to make a health impact on our populations and communities is essential.
For example, learning about leading health indicators and disparity types can better address health needs for each population. Different communities experience and are prone to specific chronic conditions (i.e. diabetes, heart disease and asthma) and being aware of prevention (health education resources like apps, interactive infographics, research and webinars) and treatment options (i.e. checking in with your medical home or the campus clinic) are critical to familiarize yourself with to be able to take action and change health behaviors.
When we take the time to learn how to address the social determinants of health and how they interact with our health we can take steps to change health behaviors. This is why being a part of the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is exciting, yet crucial. We are teaching and learning about this in the college like public health, athletic training and health care administration.
Take the time to learn about what diseases and barriers are within your community. The different health disparities that affect our lives can be addressed through education and awareness, talking to your health care provider and even being engaged with varying entities within your community to address environmental exposures or pathways to better physical activities to create healthier communities. Check out some links below to learn about other factors and aspects that affect your health and how to protect yourself and help invest healthier outcomes among all.
The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions helps students prepare for rewarding careers in the healthcare field. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the green Request More Information button at the top of the page