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Jamaica Queens New York USA, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Abstract

Community assessments are strategies essential for the development of vivid ideas abouthow any community functions to provide services for its population. It helps the researcher in determining how accessible those services are and whether they really serve the purpose intended. An adequate community assessment model will provide planners with tools that inform techniques for establishing social structures in addressing needs identified; evaluate the presence of resources that enhance involvement of target groups in resolution of specific dysfunctions; as well as offer advice in restructuring for more efficient management of resources.Undertaking such a task requires that the assessment officer be equipped with collaborative skills that generate cooperation of many key figures within the chosen community.

Introduction

Jamaicais defined as a neighborhood situated in the environment of Queen, located in New York. New York is engulfed in New York City municipality, which can be found in United States of America on the continent of North America, if one were to research this landscape on a world map.

Description of Community: Jamaica Queens New York, USA

  • General Overall Impressions

It is important to note that the geography and culture of this community is unrelated to Jamaica, West Indies. Jamaica, Queens’ latitude is 40.69 degrees, longitude -73.8 degrees and elevation 42 x12 ft.Recent figures show where it encompasses a square mileage of 109, which accounts for 35% of the entire New York land capacity (Martin et, al, 2009). From first impression it is beautiful city.

Recent statistics have shown 9,095 household containing an average of 3 persons make up this society. Single headed households account for 53%; married 23%; separated 9.6%; widowed 6.6% and divorced 7.3%. This offers an impression of family structured households 70.8%; non family 29.2% and households without children 57% (Meyers, 2006). This household typology occupies dwellings which are designed for single families or larger structures. They are either owned or rented. Thecommunity consists of numerous small apartment complexes and privately owned homes. The median house sales value is $390,000; home equity value $149,689; investment property value $21,080 and mortgage indebtedness $51,600 (Fernandez, 2008).

There is great potential for business as observed by the numerous commercialbuildings located in downtown Jamaica. Shopping malls help enhance the landscape and create a busy city atmosphere. In 2005 infrastructural works begun to relive high density among closely located buildings infringements to streets (Meyers, 2006).

This quiet neighborhood displays affluence, denoting prosperity despite foreclosure blues and unemployment challenges facing the country.  September, 2007 a number of architectural refinements were again undertaken by New York City Economic Development Corporation to allow 28 stories commercial structures and 7 stories residential ones to be erected (Fernandez, 2008).

  • Service Facilities

Shopping centers saturate the Jamaica, Queens’ vicinity. There are department stores, restaurants, groceries, beauty supply shops; dollar stores and clothing shops, just to name a few. Precisely, erecting of Laundromats; spas and barber shops enhance the scenery ofcreating an affluent developed country impression(Fernandez, 2008).
Recreational facilities include museums and parks. Major Mark Park stands as a significant landmark within the community as residents and visitors can be observed simply, walking around admiring the aesthetics. Clubs and associations collaborate as being very useful recreational pursuits too. Some noteworthy clubs found along and beyond the infamous Jamaica Ave are club Tobago; Portuguese recreation club; Girl and Boys club of Jamaica; Club Kalua and many social clubs with distinct personal agendas (Fernandez, 2008).
The religious culture of this community can be described as diverse. There are Christian churches, which form one of the main religious orientations of the society. Then, there are Islam, Scientology, Buddhist, Hindus and Rastafarian religions. These buildings of worship are assessable to transportation services.

Interstate 687 links Jamaica with the rest of the nation. The Jamaica station operates as a central transfer point for traffic emanating throughout several cites that link up the United States transportation service. A very efficient bus network also provides services, which forge a relaxed climate of movement from one destination to the next (Meyer, 2006))

Social welfare services are represented by government agencies and private individuals. These include Jamaica department of social services along with organizations such as Red Cross and Christian Charities. Eligible citizens are granted concessions of Food Stamps, reduction in rents and cash assistance based on their specific needs.
Health and medical facilities inclusive of “Store front” agencies are present in Jamaica Queens. They collaborated to create both a business culture as well as service delivery typology. Three local hospitals are in operation with very efficient emergency services of police and fire departments.

  • Environmental and Safety Conditions

With the review of contemporary literature and frequent visits to this location, it would appear that Jamaica Avenue is the most popular street. Some sociologists describe it as the thoroughfare of the vicinity (Meyers, 2006). This as well as adjacent ones appears to be properly maintained for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. In most city areas, both commercial and residential properties are kept in reasonably wellcondition.

According to recent reportsinfrastructural developmenthas been ongoing since 2006 to refurbish, water mains, sewage; catch basins and utility lines to homes and businesses. Despite these conscious efforts there is still a poor drainage challenge in South Jamaica area. An ever vigilant police department located at 103rd Precinct is responsible for the overall safety of the environment (Meyers, 2006)

  • Population Characteristics /Sociocultural Considerations

Jamaica, Queens estimated population from 2000 census is 285,568. 38% of this population was foreign born. The gender distribution consists of 45.8% males and 54.2% females. Race topography stands at 13% white, 69.9% blacks, Asian/Pacific Islander 7.6% and other 9.0%. An ethnicity profile of 11.5 Hispanic and 88.5% non- Hispanic represents the ethnic density of the society. Median age is 34.77 (Community Assessment, 2011).  From observation driving around the community and interacting with residents there seemed to be an equal distribution of mobile people ranging from the ages of 20-65. Children and teenagers were fewer.

With a predominantly Afrocentric population, the most spoken language is American English with infiltrations of Spanish; West Indian and minority dialects. A brief survey requesting responses from shoppers and business owners revealed that residents were happy with progress made in their community and loved living there. There were generations of business owners and families occupying different locations.

Three main social groups contribute towards the multicultural dispensation of this community. They emerge from Jamaica, West Indies; Guyana, South America and Haiti, West Indies. Community Health reports indicate that the general health of this population is average when compared to 41 other New York neighborhoods. Maternal and child health was below average. Infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS is also average as well as chronic diseases like diabetes, COPDs and hypertension. Further, it was discovered that accessible health utilizing secondary health promotion techniques were also average (Karpati et.al, 2003).

Politics play an important role in the stability of this society. Elected officials function as policy initiators to improve services to residence. They form a significant group along with business owners, church leaders and the multi cultural South American West Indian groups, which have infiltrated the market culture with distinct foods imported from their native countries.

However, areas of improvement are evident especially, in healthcare where it was observed that maternal, infant and child health is below average.All other service categories of health comparatively with 41 neighboring communities were at the same level. Inevitably, measures must be adapted, immediately to address maternal, infant and child health among this affluent child bearing age population.

Healthy People 2020 Topic: Maternal, infant and Child Health

From the Healthy People 2020 perspective maternal, infant and child health issues in any society are crucial indicators pertaining to the general health of the population. Importantly, United States of America is a developed country, which should be an example to the rest of the world in terms of health care delivery to its citizens. However, the politics of healthcare in America has serious implication regarding accessibility of services that are available.

According to the objectives set forth by Healthy People 2020 in respect to maternal, infant and child care, it is hoped that a wide range of conditions be addressed relating to ‘ health behaviors and  health systems indicators that affect the health, wellness and quality of life of women children and their families’ ( Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011). Further, the importance is advocated based on the necessity for women and their offspring to have proper prenatal management and subsequently a great start to life at birth (Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011).

Infant mortality figures keep rising with low birth weight becoming an alarming occurrence. Asthma appears to be a leading cause of hospitalization among children who are born with respiratory conditions. In 2001 this accounted for 454 children being hospitalized in Jamaica health care facilities (Karpati et.al, 2003).

In relation to 41 other neighborhoods Jamaica, Queens has a major community Public Health problem which is crucial towards development of a healthy society and nation. NYC Community Health Profiles project that due to lack of health Insurance coverage and privatization of health care services many women in the community cannot afford early booking neither child care services if Medicaid does not provide them (Karpati et.al, 2003).

Besides, precise figures reveal that 21,000 Jamaica, Queens residents have no health insurance coverage; 23,000 received no medical care within the past year and 53,000 do not have a primary care physician (Karpati et.al, 2003).Therefore, when this scenario is measured against accessibly and availability of health care services there seems to be  great disparity.

Available resources for maternal and child health In Jamaica Queens New York. USA

When reviewing the registry for maternal, infant and child care services within Jamaica, Queens’s health jurisdiction, it was observed that there are free or low cost health care resources available. These include private Obstetric and Pediatric consultations. Notable names listed are Caribbean Women’s Health Association; Charles Drew Center; Maternity Infant Careand QHC Teen and adult Family Planning Program(Free or Low Cost Health Care Resources)

Also, services affordable services are extended at Queens Women Network; Jamaica Center; NYC Department of Health Walk-in Immunization Clinics; Jamaica MIC Center; MIC Women health Services; NYC Health and Hospitals Comminicare Family Clinics and Queens Medicaid Offices ( Free or Low Cost Health Care Resources)

While this list of maternal, infant and child care services appears to be very impressive for a population for over 200,00 an average health status of members of this community, creates some measure of concern, especially, when it encompasses such a vulnerable segment as maternal, infant and child health. Again, there seems to be disparity between availability and accessibility of service in the community.

Proposal for Solutions

No doubt a proposal for improved maternal, infant and child health services in Jamaica, Queens should include a thorough investigation into the disparity between services available and those accessed. With reference to Healthy People 2020 objectives, the aim is to evaluate ‘behaviors and health systems indicators that affect the health wellness and quality of life of women children and their families’ (Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011).

For this objective to become a reality in Jamaica, Queens, New York, ‘health system indicators’ (Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011) must be identified and redesigning should be a priority. Possible indicators could be lack of knowledge regarding availability of affordable health care services within the community.

In a developed nation, such as United States of America, healthcare is never free. Accessibility to quality health care services is dependant on insurance coverage. From the economic analysis of Jamaica Queens community, it can be concluded that for a wide section of the society, adequate health insurance coverage may be beyond their budget, especially, in the presence of unemployment and foreclosures.

Then, the significant question is, of what use is the presence of healthcare services within a community when only a small portion can access them. As such, ‘health system indicators’ (Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011) ought to inform social planners; politicians and social workers of a healthcare reform structure, which is inaccessible to the majority of women and their children within the society.

NYC Community Health Profiles advocate education in healthy practices prior to pregnancy, during and after, to improve the health awareness of women who are misinformed about their health and that of their offspring. The slogan for education encompasses ‘Promoting Healthy Behaviors and Reducing Risks’ (Karpati et.al, 2003).

Precisely, this entails sensitizing mothers about smoking during and prior to pregnancy; reduction in the consumption of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and related illegal drugs. Education on proper nutrition and the necessity for early booking at clinics is emphasized. In cases where there is no insurance coveragewomen should be encouraged to apply early, for Medicaid.

Conclusion

It was discovered  that while Jamaica Queens is an affluent society, with magnificent infrastructure and grandiose architecture; there exits some acute community health issues inclusive of accessibility to the available maternal, infant  and child health services. In relation to Healthy People 2020 objectives; proposals are that ‘health system indicators’ (Healthy People 2020 objectives, 2011) play the major role in resolving many of these issues.

It is hoped that this community assessment ignites social planners and politicians functioning in the Jamaica, Queens’ political district to advocate for more accessible health care service delivery within this community. Precisely, Community assessments are strategies essential for the development of vivid ideas about how any community functions to provide services for its population. Within this distinct guideline a community assessment of Jamaica Queens, New York, USA was embraced.

References

Community Assessment (2011). “Collaboration Center.” Retrieved 20th October, 2011 from http://findyouthinfo.gov/communityAssessment.shtml

Fernandez, Manny. “Door to Door, Foreclosure Knocks Here” The New York Times, October 18, 2008, New York edition

Free or Low Cost Health Care Resources- Queens. Retrieved 20th October, 2011 from http://stage.nylpi.org/pub/HEALTH_CARE_RESOURCES_QUEENS.pdf

Google photo/ images: Jamaica Queens, New York. Retrieved 20th October, 2011 from http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=571&q=jamaica+queens+new+york&gbv=2&oq=jamaica+queens&aq=2&aqi=g6g-m4&aql=1&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=1000l12750l0l16641l14l14l0l2l2l0l1063l3298l0.3.6.1.7-1l11l0

Healthy People 2020 (2011). “Maternal, Infant and Child Health” Retrieved 20th October, 2011 from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=26

Karpati A, Lu X, Mostashari F, Thorpe L, Frieden TR (2003). The Health of Jamaica.NYC Community Health Profiles, 1(6), 1-12

Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Sutton PD (2009) Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Division of Vital Statistics Births: National Center for Health Statistics. Report No. 57(7)

Meyers, Stephen (2006). Lost Trolleys of Queens and Long Island, New York (Images of Rails Series). New York. Arcadia Pub.

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