Due to ethnic health inequities in the health care business, a disproportionate percentage of persons of color lack health insurance. This policy must be altered owing to many Hispanics and African-Americans who do not have health insurance, limiting their access to healthcare. Receiving health care services in the United States is tough without medical insurance (Sohn, 2017). This difficulty exists since most service providers need individuals to have medical insurance. For instance, the Hispanic population was disproportionately afflicted by the COVID-19 epidemic, and their hospitalization rate was 4.6 times that of whites (Macias Gil et al., 2020). The difficulties experienced by the Hispanic population during the epidemic have a long history; historically, Hispanics have received inadequate healthcare, rendering them susceptible to the pandemic. Due to these problems, there is a need to address the health disparity problem, and the federal government must devise methods to address the policy.
There should be a sense of urgency regarding the problem of health disparities. Statistics obtained in the 2019 census indicate that just 50.1 percent of Hispanics have private insurance, which is significantly lower than non-Hispanics (Macias Gil et al., 2020). This community has one of the lowest access to medical care rates in the United States due to the large proportion of uninsured inhabitants. Additionally, the economic and social position of Hispanic persons impacts their health. Because, for example, Hispanics have a lower economic status than other groups, it is difficult for the community to get health care services. The average level of education and employment rate are two additional features of the community that are susceptible to change. The fact that immigrants constitute the great majority of the Hispanic population in the United States is the ultimate source of the problem. Additionally, because Hispanics often have lower wages, it is harder for them to pay out of pocket for medical treatment. Thus, owing to these circumstances, there should be an urgency to fix the problem of health inequality.
The new policy is anticipated to have the following effects on public health professionals: an increase in the efficacy of strategies for reducing health disparities; the dissemination and adaptation of these strategies; and the determination of how to expand these strategies to have an even more significant impact by rigorously applying lessons learned through these efforts. Community-based participatory research is one of these techniques. In order to promote health equality via social action, community-based participatory research requires the participation and involvement of community people, representatives of community-based organizations, and researchers (Sohn, 2017). Components of the strategy include long-term cooperation on a local health problem, co-learning, capacity development, shared decision making, joint ownership of research outputs, and dissemination of outcomes. Consequently, this policy change model helps guarantee that community members find research relevant, maintains a healthy power dynamic among partners, and facilitates the incorporation of research results into policy and practice. In addition, it allows the sharing of information between researchers and community people and aids in identifying community assets upon which to base interventions.
Since the strategy enables people and communities to address their health concerns, several stakeholders, including community groups, will aid in implementing and assessing the change. Therefore, to address some of the health inequities in the Hispanic population, hospitals and health systems, as well as a variety of other stakeholders, should collaborate to identify innovative methods to exchange data and create solutions. The stakeholders will assist in implementing community empowerment by assisting Hispanic communities and people in creating opportunities, skills, and tools that will benefit them. They will also ensure that Hispanic communities can access the health services they need by spreading the word about an issue (Thompson et al., 2016). In addition, the stakeholders may ensure that communities have the resources necessary to advocate for their people’s prevention, screening, and treatment.
Community empowerment is a process, and it is necessary to undertake power analyses to comprehend the interprofessional connections in a community and maybe uncover novel solutions for balancing power in the community. Defining power distribution in a community requires a detailed description of the persons and organizations with decision-making authority in a community (Thompson et al., 2016). These analyses inform the interprofessional relationship-building process. Additionally, the present policies and systemic elements that influence health concerns in the community and the policymakers should be considered. Community organizers and lecturers who have worked with community members and made them feel more empowered should also be rewarded. Also included are pastors who assist the underprivileged and community health workers. Many of these individuals know that discrimination and uneven power are the root causes of societal imbalances resulting in substandard housing and other issues (Thompson et al., 2016). Therefore, it is essential to empower communities by addressing socioeconomic variables influencing health and facilitating communication amongst specialists.
The media is crucial in revealing the causes and potential remedies for health inequalities. By advocating for policies and activities that address health inequities, social media may help influence the public health agenda. It is also considered necessary to gather support from the community’s formidable social and institutional forces. In order to adapt and execute the policy, social media will assist in identifying prominent community players who are seen to play a significant role in addressing health issues, as well as the primary relationships between these actors. In addition, social media provides a way for identifying both policymakers and those who influence them. The use of social media will contribute to creating a rich and comprehensive picture of community leaders in different positions of power, their interactions, and their viewpoints on health disparities and their solutions. These evaluations will impact the design of the media intervention, which seeks to shift the public health agenda by increasing news coverage of socioeconomic health issues. Consequently, it will facilitate the promotion of health policies and the implementation of change concerning health inequalities.
Researchers and members of the Hispanic community need to regularly work together to create trust and relationships to be able to analyze the health benefits of community empowerment for Hispanic populations. While it is vital to begin efforts at the local level to involve members of the Hispanic community and acquire their buy-in, policy choices at the local, state, or national level are frequently required to affect the health of a community. Efforts to enhance community health outcomes via community-based participatory research must concurrently create and sustain relationships with important stakeholders at all levels to impact health policy. Thus, to evaluate the implemented outcomes, policymakers must recognize and promote several degrees of empowerment. This degree of empowerment may be accomplished by including members of the Hispanic community and the underserved in the formulation and execution of policy and depending on those with more conventional influence. Policymakers must accomplish joint policy-making on behalf of the underprivileged and the Hispanic communities with which they are affiliated. Involving policymakers in the assessment of the consequences of Hispanic population empowerment has the potential to diminish health inequalities.
Macias Gil, R., Marcelin, J. R., Zuniga-Blanco, B., Marquez, C., Mathew, T., & Piggott, D. A. (2020). COVID-19 pandemic: Disparate health impact on the Hispanic/Latinx population in the United States. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 222(10), 1592-1595. Web.
Sohn, H. (2017). Racial and ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage: Dynamics of gaining and losing coverage over the life-course. Population Research and Policy Review, 36(2), 181-201. Web.
Thompson, B., Molina, Y., Viswanath, K., Warnecke, R., & Prelip, M. L. (2016). Strategies to empower communities to reduce health disparities. Health Affairs, 35(8), 1424-1428. Web.