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The Social Ecological Model And The Five Components

993 words - 4 pages

The United States of America were founded on the belief that everyone should be treated equally. A tremendous amount of progress has been made to eliminate racism and inequality over the past two centuries. Even though America has come a long way, more advances can be made and should not be stopped until racial and ethnic disparities are completely eradicated. A fundamental area that significant disparities exist in is the healthcare industry. Evidence shows medical care is not distributed equally among residents of the United States. The social ecological model will be used to investigate the existing gaps in the healthcare system in the U.S. The social ecological model is comprised of five components. Starting on the inside is the individual, which refers to a person’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The next layer outside of the individual is the interpersonal level, which is composed of a person’s family, friends, and social networks. After interpersonal is the organizational level, which makes up the social institutions and organizations a person belongs to. Outside of organizational is the community level, which refers to the relationships a person has among organizations. Lastly, the outside layer of the ecological model is the societal level, which refers to the public policy implemented at the national, state, and local levels (Warner, 2013, pp. 13-18). This paper will address the dissimilar access to care between the Hispanic and white non-Hispanic populations by examining the organizational, interpersonal, and societal levels of the ecological model. The dissimilar care leads to higher prevalence of certain health issues like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and many others. The term Hispanic is used to describe a person with ancestral roots in a Spanish-speaking country. It is important to look at this controversy because Hispanic Americans constituted about 15% of the U.S. population in 2011 and are the most rapidly growing section of the population (Rodriguez, Joynt, López, Saldaña, & Jha, 2011, p. 254).
Several issues arise from the organizational level of the ecological model. They stem from the way the healthcare system is set up in the U.S., which causes minorities to receive unequal treatment. White men make up approximately 75% of the United States male population and account for about 30% of cardiac deaths. When compared to Hispanic men who make up about 12.5% of the U.S. population, they account for roughly 24% of the cardiac deaths (Diaz, Jr., 2006, p. 47). Medical care is disproportionally distributed among different races and ethnicities in a nation founded with intentions to provide equality for everyone. Furthermore, 5% of the hospitals in the U.S. treat over half of the elderly Hispanic population. These few hospitals that do treat elderly Hispanics provide poor quality of care (Rodriguez, Joynt, López, Saldaña, & Jha, 2011, p. 254). The reason this issue stems from the organizational level of the ecological model is...

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