Components of a healthy community are outlined in the textbook as having “low crime rates, good schools, strong family life, robust economy, good jobs, high environmental quality (clean air, water), accessible and quality health services, adequate housing, civic involvement, nice weather, good transportation (roads, public transportation), wide variety of leisure activities, exposure to the arts, [and] reasonable taxes” (Maurer & Smith, 2013). Is the culmination of all these variables what defines a healthy community? I don’t think there is ever a perfect combination of these things in most communities. However, I do think that communities that try to achieve these things can be described as healthy or at least striving for health. For example, a city (a general area that can define community) may not have the best roads or schools or crime rates, but if community members are working towards improving these things, they could be at least described as working towards the improvement of the health of their community. I suppose “health” in a community, as with an individual, is a spectrum and relative to the context in which it exists. We as healthcare providers aim to reach out to our communities and educated them in order to teach them to create changes in themselves and their surrounding areas. “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to improve their health, and stretches beyond individual behavior to encompass areas such as social and environmental interventions… community outreach is a catalysis that can bring these fields together” (Mucedola, 2015).
Educating our youngest community members about healthful lifestyles and learning healthy habits early on is one of the best forms of prevention of chronic diseases. “School and community based health education continue to be valuable assets to curbing the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States” (Mucedola, 2015). This is why public health education and nursing has such an important place in the healthcare system.
Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2013). Chapter 15: Community assessment. In Community / public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations (5th ed.). Retrieved October 2, 2017.
Mucedola, M. S. (2015). Connecting Health Education and Health Promotion through Community Outreach to Bridge PreK-12 School Health Programs and Corresponding Communities. Virginia Journal, 36(2), 4-7.