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Running Head: THE HEALTH STATUS OF RESIDENCE

Xilonem Montoya
California State University, San Bernardino
HSCI 342
Monday- Wednesday 6-7:50pm
Health Status of Residence Living in San Bernardino County, 92405
Fall 2014

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Introduction: Population County of San Bernardino/ City (92405)


The concept of health can be explained and described in many forms. Health can also be
described as more than just a singular state of being, rather than being portrayed as
multidimensional concept. Although health is an idea most individuals are aware of, the ability to
achieve good health can be extremely challenging. Our health is shaped around where we live,
our economic status, and the people who surround us. For this reason, I decided to focus on the
health status of residents who live in the county of San Bernardino. Not only do I go to school in
the city of San Bernardino, but I am also involved in the community working as a lead youth
mentor with children in this population. Observing their lifestyles, characteristics, diets, and
behaviors have intrigued me and motivated me to learn more and understand the underlying
causes, which influence their overall health status and well-being. Furthermore, studying the
demographics of San Bernardino will give me a broader perspective of the community dynamics,
which in turn will assist me in developing a stronger connection with the kids, gearing my focus
as a youth mentor into a more targeted approach.
I.

Geographic Area, Socioeconomic Status of the Area

The county of San Bernardino is located in southeast California, and is the largest county
within the United States. Census (2013) data reports the countys population is 2,088,371. In the
city of San Bernardino the total numbers of residents are 213,708 (Census 2013). The
unemployment rate in the county is 8.2%, and the unemployment rate in California is 7.4%.
These numbers are very important because it gives a look into what kind of social class the
residents of San Bernardino fall into. Even though the city of San Bernardino is only one city out
of the whole county, this city is known for its high crime rates, high unemployment rates, and
poverty stricken population.

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The crime rates in the county include violent felonies including, homicide, forcible rape,
robbery and aggravated assault and property felonies such as burglary, motor-vehicle theft, and
larceny- theft (The Community Foundation, 2014). Violent crimes have increased over the past
two years by 4% and property crimes have increased by 7%. San Bernardino crime rate has
dropped but still remain one of the highest in the state and the nation. There were a total of 730
gang-related filings in 2013 which was a 34% decrease from 1,106 filings in 2012. In 2013, 29 of
the gang-related offences were homicides; this was low compared to the 40 homicide filings in
2012. In 2013, there were 697 known gangs in San Bernardino County, which was below the
five-year average of 720 gangs.
The homeless population in San Bernardino County is very large due to a high demand and
low supply of rent subsidy from the local Housing Authority. In 2012/13 school year, 30,122 San
Bernardino County students from K-12 were identified as homeless, or lacking a stable housing
unit. Among students identified as homeless or lacking stable housing, 91% are living with more
than one family in a home, 5% live in shelters, 3% live in cars, parks or campgrounds, and 2%
live in motels.
Similar to the county to which it belongs, the City of San Bernardino is plagued with many of
the negative socio-economic issues including high crime and unemployment rates, large
homeless population, and an overwhelming number of gangs. These socio-economic factors play
a pivotal role in the health status of populations so the purpose of this proposal is to explore the
countys current environment, economic status, safety and education and how such factors
determine an individuals overall health status.

II.

Demographics of the County and City

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Among the county there are a variety of ethnicities. The breakdown for each in the county of
San Bernardino is 77.5 % White, 9.5% African Americans, 2.0% Native American, 7.1% Asian,
0.5% Pacific Islander, and 3.4% from two or more races and 51.1% being Hispanic or Latino
(United States Census, 2012). The estimated population in the 92405 zip code area in the City of
San Bernardino is 31,080 with 15,485 (49.8%) males and 15,595 (50.2%) females. The
population in the area has since grown since 2010 by 6,443 people (City-data, 2011).
Unemployment rate is 11.2%, and according to the research of California 2014 there were 71
registered sex offenders as well as 18 gangs residing in zip code 92405 as of October 26, 2014.
The relevance of this zip code is to corroborate that high unemployment rates, violence, and sex
offenders in one zip code in the city of San Bernardino affect the communitys lifestyle, the
environment, and ultimately, the health of the individuals living within that community.
III.

Chronic Disease, Physical Activity, Food Environment

The average life span in the state of California is 73, in San Bernardino city it is 65 years of age.
The shortening of someones life by 8 years is an extreme example of how unhealthy the city of
San Bernardino is (New Partners for Smart Growth 2012). New partners for Smart 2012 suggest
the leading causes of premature death within the city are heart disease with liver disease with
complications of diabetes, and homicide.
Data concludes the leading cause of death in the County of San Bernardino is heart disease,
while hypertension and diabetes rates exceed those of the state. 68% of adults in the city are
categorized as overweight or obese, and 34.3% of youth population are considered overweight or
obese (Benefit Report, 2012). In 2011-12 there were more asthma diagnoses in San Bernardino
County than in the neighboring counties and in the entire state of California.

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Secondary data findings conclude that the county fails to meet healthy people 2020
objectives for access to care and preventative practices. One of the factors which contribute to an
overweight and obese community is lack of physical activity in the city of San Bernardino can be
a result of the lack of sidewalks, bike lanes and proper lighting. Landscape of the region was
designed for travel by cars rather than to promote the need of physical activity. The county needs
more parks to promote physical activity in the community. The City has a 400 acre deficit of
parks; 2/3 of residents have less than 1 acre of parks within a mile of their home (Parks,
Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, 2014). There are also 80 miles of planned bicycle
routes that are supposed to be built, however the city has only been able to build 17 miles. Half
of the miles that have been built are now being phased out for transit lines, which limits physical
activity.
Another issue that has a big influence on the physical activity of the community is public
safety. The city of San Bernardino still has the 4th highest crime rate in the state of California.
Data shows that 25% of 9th graders get into physical altercation, and 33% of residence report
neighborhoods are unsafe. San Bernardino city has the 3rd highest concentration of alcohol
outlets causing many crimes that correlate with alcohol outlet density (Healthy San Bernardino
2014). When a neighborhood is not safe, people often are fearful to perform physical activity
outdoors, which can lead to sedentary lifestyles and affect overall health. A sedentary lifestyle
leads to obesity which are both primary risk factors leading to many health premature death.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can have a positive impact on an individual physical and
mental health, which reduces health care costs.
IV.

Food Insecurity

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Along with maintaining a healthy body weight, food insecurity is another factor that can
influence a persons health status. There is evidence indicating that one of every three households
in the city participates in the cal fresh programs. There are 8 fast food & convenience stores for
every grocery store. In fact, 31% of the city residents do not live within 1 mile from a grocery
store, and that is why many parts of the city are considered food deserts, and food swamps. There
is only one farmers market found within city, and the rest of the farmers markets strictly sell to
hospitals staff by way of a farm share pilot program. Most employees participate by purchasing a
full or half shares of produce. Many community members are not aware of the program or cannot
afford the cost. All of these factors tremendously affect the communitys life style. When the
youth of the community are not able to eat proper nutrition or consume the needed amount of
nutrient dense food it affects their attention span and their ability to retain information in school.
Once this starts to occur the future generations of the community begin to do poorly in school,
which affects their future, and the ability to obtain a high paying job. All of these factors begin to
start a vicious cycle that many cities of the county of San Bernardino are facing today. Many
Public Health facilities have taken this information into consideration and have began to start
programs to help the county/city promote a healthier lifestyle.
V.

Public Health Interventions

Various Public Health entities have conducted with many studies, to help communities of
San Bernardino. One initiative is Healthy San Bernardino, this program was developed to
educate residents on the reasons why the counties and cities health has decreased tremendously.
Out of the county 16 out of 24 cities participate in the initiative. Their initiative objectives are;
focusing on prevention, addressing upstream determinants, and creating a shift in culture
(Policy, Environmental, and System). The focus for prevention is to foster healthy and safe

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community environments, provide clinical and community preventive services, eliminate health
disparities for residents, and empower people to change. The local government is taking part in
the initiative for example; local government has helped the campaign by having a general plan
update, improvising healthy vending policies, improving on safer routes to schools, starting
community gardens and farmer markets in the city, and have began to manage non-motorized
Transportation plans.
Healthy San Bernardino utilizes two theory models to focus their campaign in the city.
The first model used was the Social Ecological Model which is based on reciprocal
determinism; interactions between individuals and their environment which determine health
behaviors. The second model used was the Health Belief Model which is based on the primary
determinants for performing an action. The results of these models were a success. Some of
their success factors include the mayors office dedication to upstream action, which includes
community driven policies that promote, youth and parent leadership that evokes energy and
action.
Other public health entities involved in the movement for healthy San Bernardino are
Hospitals in the area such as Dignity Healths Community Hospital of San Bernardino (CHSB)
and St Bernadine Medical Center (SBMC). These two sister hospitals are both highly involved
in the communities in various ways. CHSB has an offsite center across the street from the
hospital named The Health Education Center which is ran by public health educators, and
registered nurses. The education center offers a variety of health education classes, outreach
community events and resources all free of charge to the community members. There classes
are divided into 4 content areas; childbirth education, parenting education, care of the Newborn,
and health and wellness education. All of these classes are free, and are recommended to

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patients by doctors when they are at risk for any chronic conditions are expecting new mothers
to be. The Health Education Center also offers a community computer lab used for printing
important documents or applying for health care. The computer lab cannot be used for
recreational activities for example, the use for Facebook or other social media sites. SBMC also
has an offsite outreach youth center located by San Bernardino High School. I currently work at
this facility and my duties as a lead youth mentor are to set an example for the youth that attend
the center. One of the ways we are able to do that is by working hands on with the population.
We build bonds with the kids and educate them by teaching life and social skills through a
program called Values to Success. During Values to Success we offer classes on body image,
hygiene, STI awareness, healthy cooking, and provide education that promotes a healthy
lifestyle. During the holidays the center offers a free community dinner on November 25th,
which features a free Thanksgiving dinner, jacket boutique, health fair, flu shots, and a family
food basket. The children that attend the center are adopted during the holidays by a hospital
staff and are giving a basket of food during Thanksgiving. For Christmas the families are given
food, clothes, gift cards, cleaning supplies, blankets and toys all of which is delivered to their
home by hospital staff. The center also provides hygiene products as well as clothing and school
supplies all year round.
VI.

Conclusion

The county as well as the city of San Bernardino suffer from poor health determinants
and have a high prevalence of chronic disease, poverty, food insecurities and negative
environmental factors. But these determinants have not stopped this amazing county/city to
prosper. When healthy lifestyles, are acquired a community has the opportunity to thrive and
succeed. It will be a slow process but the community is showing that they are ready to improve.

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Eventually, it is all about creating an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice
Healthy San Bernardino 2014.

References

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Trevino, Evelyn., Hoffman, Mark., De Luca Evette., Hazlett, Peggi (2012)


2012 New Partner for Smart Growth: Healthy San Bernardino 1-48
Welch H. Laura (2014)
The Community Foundation: San Bernardino County 2014, Community Indicator
Report 1-76
St. Bernadine Medical center (2014). Community benefit report
Retrieved on November 2, 2014 from www.stbernardinemedicalcenter.org.
Unites States Census (2010)/ American Fact Finder.
Retrieved from www.census.gov on November 2, 2014
Google Maps (2014). Gang Territory