According to Thornton et al. (2016), “Despite improvements in medical care and in disease prevention, health disparities persist and may be increasing for chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer” (p. 1416), but health policy can serve as a form of intervention to address these health disparities. Whether the policy is directed at funding, education, or specific healthcare practices, identifying the health disparities, why they exist, and to whom they impact is a necessary component to improving overall public health.
During the next week, you will explore the how healthcare policy can help to address disparities that impact vulnerable, marginalized, or stigmatized populations. You will continue to explore the population you identified in Week 1 in order to determine a specific policy advocacy priority.
Thornton, R. L. J., Glover, C. M., Cené, C. W., Glik, D. C., Henderson, J. A., & Williams, D. R. (2016). Evaluating Strategies For Reducing Health Disparities By Addressing The Social Determinants Of Health. Health (Project Hope), 35(8), 1416–1423. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1357
Identifying barriers and challenges that impact vulnerable and marginalized groups is an important first step, but advocates cannot stop there. What can be done to address the inequities, the challenges, and the barriers? How might an advocate use policy to enact change?
The Allegory of the Orchard required you to consider the barriers and challenges of specific vulnerable or marginalized populations. In our Week 1 Discussion, you identified a specific population connected to your practice, organization, or experience. This week you will explore that population further by determining a specific advocacy priority for the population.
- Review your selected population discussed in the Module 1, Week 1 Discussion: Allegory of the Orchard. ( political determinants of health negatively impact the health outcomes of underserved, vulnerable, and marginalized populations, and communities )
- Review the resources on vulnerable or marginalized populations.
- Consider the factors that create and maintain these populations.
- Reflect on nursing’s relationship with these populations and how this shapes our role in policy advocacy.
BY DAY 3 OF WEEK 2
Using the selected population discussed in the Week 1 Discussion: Allegory of the Orchard, post a response detailing the following:
- What are the advocacy priorities for the population? What are the needs of this population?
- How are disparities reflected in policy and policy reflected in the disparities?
- What is the role of nursing, individually and collectively, in influencing policy decisions that adversely impact vulnerable populations?