NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices

NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices

Health is determined by the environmental, economic and social factors and not just the physical well-being as perceived by many. The quality and access of healthcare plays a significant role in the community. Health indicators refer to designed measures that summarize the information regarding priority health factors and performances using actionable and comparable information. In order to understand the Chicago community health status, this paper seeks to analyze the Chicago, Illinois community-based data for key indicators, observed disparities and community leaders involved in reviewing proposed action plans in the community. NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices

Chicago presents a good healthcare environment that has seen some of its hospitals being featured in the national ranking of good hospitals in the US. On the contrary, a 2012 Commonwealth Fund report noted that Chicago wasn’t a good place to live in with regard to the cost, results and access of healthcare (County Heath Rankings, 2017). The key indicators perceived as the community’s problem include mortality and infectious disease. More specifically on mortality, cancer is a leading cause of deaths in Chicago with a percentage city rate of 193.6 per 100, 000 persons as at 2007 (Healthy People 2010, 2014). Between the years 2012 to 2016, a cancer incidence rate of 486.3 was reported for all sites (Healthy People 2020, 2013). Diabetes related cases also cause increased deaths within the community with a mortality rate of 70.1% compared to the overall 73.1% of the US mortality rates related to this problem between 2005 and 2009 (Healthy People 2020, 2013).NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices


Infectious diseases are another key indicator of a problem within the Chicago’s healthcare system. These include sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, in males and females and tuberculosis. Gonorrhea is a leading health issue in Chicago with a 660.8 percentage rate in females of between 15 to 44 years (Healthy People 2020, 2013) In men of the same age, the sexually transmitted infection rate is 598.6 percent per 100,000 males. Tuberculosis affects about 7.4 percent per 100,000 persons according to 2011 statistics (Healthy People 2020, 2014). It is thus evident that infectious diseases and increased mortality rates indicate the presence of problems in the Chicago’s healthcare system.

Consequently, there are multiple health disparities observed in the community of Chicago, Illinois. For instance, economic disparities characterized by poverty and per capita income, unemployment in various parts of the community have been found to hinder healthcare access.  Between 2007 and 2011, the per capita income rate of Chicago was reported to be 27940% with an unemployment rate of 12% and 19% of the households living below the poverty level (Heathy People 2020, 2013). According to the American survey data, Chicago had a 12.4% poverty rate as at 2016 with the poorest areas being Armour Square with a median income of $10,152 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). Poverty increases the vulnerability to infectious and chronic diseases due to negligence and wide spread of diseases as evident in the increase of gonorrhea in the community.

Another disparity in health delivery system is healthcare access by race. For instance, the white population has higher access to healthcare compares to the African Americans, Hispanic and other populations within the community. Considering the rate of health insurance among these races between 2009 and 2013 for persons of 65 years and below, it is observed that the whites have higher insurance rates with 18.70% of he uninsured compared to the blacks who presents an uninsured rate of 22.36% and 30.52% for Hispanic or Latino (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2017). Lack of insurance cripples the access of the costly healthcare services in Chicago among the minority groups.

Changes in the healthcare system require collaborative review of the anticipated change and informed decision making on the actions to take. The three community leaders involved in the review of a proposed action plan in Chicago can include health representatives, social healthcare representatives and political administrators. The political leader is involved in communication to the state and federal as well as national government about the proposed plan and its importance in the community. In general he links the community with the main legislative body.NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices

On the other hand, the social worker leader ensures that the community and the other stakeholders are informed and ware of the proposed change. They foresee civil education regarding the action and advice on the importance and the consequences of the plan of action. They also analyze the proposed action and advice the healthcare system on its necessity and therefore, act as a link between the community and the healthcare system. They also ensure that the change intentions are to improve the public health of the community.

In addition, religious leaders play essential roles in the process of reviewing the proposed action plans in healthcare. These leaders have great influence in the society and hence represent the views of their followers based on the integration of cultural sensitivity in the healthcare practice. They advise and give reviews concerning the beliefs and value of their followers with the aim of ensuring that the change does not interfere with the people’s way of life. They ensure that religious and cultural discrimination and disparities are eliminated during the implementation of changes in the Chicago, Illinois.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). National Centre for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc,gov/nchs /

County Heath Rankings. (2017), How Healthy is Your Community? Retrieved from

Healthy People 2020 (2013). Selected public health indicators by Chicago community area. Retrieved from

Healthy People 2020 (2014)Healthy People 2010 Leading Health Indicators: Progress Update Executive Summary. Retrieved from

The Kaiser Family Foundation. (2017). State Health Facts.  Retrieved from

US Census Bureau. (2017). American fact finder. Retrieved from

NU450M1 Ethics, Equity, and Public Health Practices