The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) mission is to enhance and protect all Americans health and well-being. According to the HHS this could be done by providing effective health and human services such as advances in medicine, public health, and social services (Services, n.d.). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)manages a variety of health and welfare programs in the United States. They are responsible for regulating all food products and any new pharmaceutical drugs along with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), implementing the nation’s health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, assist with preventing outbreaks and the spread of diseases with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and funded the NIH (National Institutes of Health) who are the most important medical research program in the world (Services, n.d.). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities is written in the HHS Action Plan. It is a complete federal commitment to date that discusses strategies to reduce as well as eliminating disparities in today’s health and health care. The HHS Disparities Action Plan has five goals that will help with these health disparities: (1) Transform health care; (2) Strengthen the nation’s health and human services infrastructure and workforce; (3) Advance the health, safety and well-being of the American people; (4) Advance scientific knowledge and innovation and (5) Increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability of HHS programs (Services, n.d.). With the help of the Disparities Action Plan, HHS can focus on their objectives to provide a framework for local, state and federal agencies that allow them to streamline and institutionalize programmatic and policy efforts. Then able to promote these integrated approaches and evidence-based programs by giving all Americans the chance to have the healthiest lives possible.

Healthy People 2020
Healthy People 2020 is a program funded by the federal government who works along the side with health-promotion and disease-prevention. Their goals are set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and have a ten year objective for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 is responsible for preventing diseases, improving the health quality of all people, creating healthy environments and promoting quality of life throughout the stages of life (Healthy People 2020 – Improving the Health of Americans, n.d.). They also are responsible for collecting national data and tracking outcomes that come from diseases. Healthy People 2020 has four goals that will help with these health disparities: (1) Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death; (2) Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups; (3) Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all and (4) Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages. The main objectives for Healthy People 2020 is identifying the nation’s health improvements, increasing public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health (Healthy People 2020 – Improving the Health of Americans, n.d.). Furthermore, Healthy People 2020 plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities is to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.

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World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency within the United Nations that specializes in international public health. They have played an important role in the extermination of smallpox. Today there main focus have been on HIV, Ebola, malaria and tuberculous. The WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters as well as shaping the health research agenda. They also set the norms and standards, give voice to evidence-based policy options, provide technical support to countries while monitoring and assessing health trends. The WHO’S goal is to improve equity in health, reduce health risks, promote healthy lifestyles as well as settings, and respond to the underlying determinants of health (Organization, n.d.). While their two objectives is to (1) Develop and implement multisectoral public policies for health such as water, food and sanitation and (2) Using integrating gender- and age-sensitive approaches that help with community empowerment focusing on health promotion, self-care and health protection throughout the life course with cooperation from national and international partners (Organization, n.d.).
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works around the clock non-stop to protect Americans from health, safety and security threats that stem from a disease or infection. The CDC is responsible for diagnosing and researching diseases as well as trying to develop vaccines to treat, prevent, or cure them (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). Their ultimate goal is to improve all public health overall. The CDC’s objective is to conduct studies and provide health information in hopes of protecting our nation from expensive and dangerous health threats, also responding to them when they do arise. In 2014, the CDC developed the REACH program in hopes of reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. REACH was designed to provide programs to address health issues among minorities. The CDC believes every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. CDC wants to remove any barriers that affects a person’s health because of their race or ethnicity, education, income, location, and any other social factors (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).

Describe how knowledge, skill, attitude, socioeconomic environment, and culture affect health disparities.

In today’s economy having knowledge is key and the more education a person has the more likely they will be employed. Once they become employed, then the job can provide them with health-promoting benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, and even retirement. It has been proving that people who have less education are more likely to work in high-risk jobs that offer few benefits and people with more education are more likely to have healthy behaviors. With skills being obtained through education and training, patients are able to understand their health needs as well as follow instructions, be able to advocate for themselves and their families, and communicate effectively with health providers too (Health Disparities, n.d.). An individual’s environment such as their income, level of education, and other factors all play a role on their health. If the communities attitude is not focused on the importance of their health then everyone is affected and will not take being their own health serious. Socioeconomics such as low-income minorities affects health disparities because they are prone to poorer quality of health care than white Americans and tend to not have the best health insurance. Also by increasing cultural awareness among minorities can reduce risk for certain problems, for example, hypertension in African-Americans. Culture also affects how patients and healthcare providers communication.

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