Public Health in Anthony
By Brenda Medina, NMSU Student
Today we are facing constant changes that are affecting us, either personally or in our community. These changes are behavioral health, cultural competency and even aging. In our community we count with certain agencies that can be very beneficial to help us to cope with these changes. These agencies are: Women’s Intercultural Center, The Promotoras program at La Clinica De Familia, and Coordinated Home Health. With these kinds of agencies in our community we can be prepared to cope with the adversities that will be present in our lives.
The Women’s Intercultural Center is attended mostly by immigrant women but men and children are welcomed there too. In my face to face interview with Mary Carter, Executive Director, she states that the more common health issues among immigrants in our community are depression due to isolation. As a nonprofit organization, the main purpose of women's intercultural center is to educate, empower and engage women. The Center provides a variety of classes to help women become auto sufficient and avoid being isolated by the lack of cultural competence.
Immigration in our community is very common; we are used to coexisting with different cultural diversities but sometimes these people are not well prepared to cope with the changes that are coming and do not accept the process very well. The Women’s Intercultural Center is an organization that was created to help immigrants to cope with the adversities and changes created with the immigration. As an immigrant, I know that the adversities can be very prejudicial events that can affect the personal development. In this center, they offer different kinds of classes that can help us to improve our physical health and mental health, with classes like yoga, healthy lifestyle, Judo, Zumba and the newest Twerk Yourself Fitness class. This organization also offers classes to learn different skills such as playing guitar, basic sewing, oil painting, crochet and more. Lack of competence is usually a characteristic of immigrants, especially the lack of fluency and the ignorance of culture. With the implementation of English classes and citizenship in the Women’s Intercultural Center they are helping the new residents learn to communicate properly and be aware of the United States culture, systems and laws.
The Promotora Program at La Clinica de Familia is a program funded by state government. This part of the clinic is divided into three parts: community health promoters, breast and cervical cancer social services and healthy star for pregnant women. In my interview with Raquel Reveles she said that the most common issues among the Anthony community is the lack of education regarding to skin care among seasonal workers and diabetes during pregnancy. But the most remarkable issue in our community is the necessity of mental health. Sadly some people do not get the adequate help because they are afraid to be called crazy and many times people also are afraid to be labeled with a mental illness, but treatment is very important to help you to succeed in life. According to the Mayo Clinic web page in the article Mental Illness states, “You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don't let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what's wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life” (May, 17 2014. Mental Illness).
To help our community they offer classes to educate parents to learn to cope with family problems, counseling for teenagers, they provide prenatal classes, and they give support to cancer patients and help them to find the adequate services and insurance. One thing that I liked is that they provide help to apply for medical and dental insurance to seasonal workers. Pamphlets are also given with information about how to take care of their skin and disposal and managing toxic solutions.
Elder care is one important factor in our community. It is why that the services provided by Coordinated Home Health are essential to our elder community and their family. They offer their services to elders and people over 21 years old with special needs such as Down Syndrome and physical and mental complications. The most remarkable health issues among their clients are the health of veterans and clients with diabetes. These two types of clients need a little more attention because veterans are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and need to refer them to another agency to deal with this issue. For diabetic clients they provide cooking classes to learn to cook adequate meals for them. Other principal necessities among this group are personal care, chores and help to apply for public services such as Medicare, food stamps, social security and food bank and illness management.
Shirley Hidalgo branch manager of Coordinate Home Health in Anthony, NM, informed me that they count with care givers that provide their clients with personalized help; they support their clients with personal hygiene such as sponge bath, combing their hair and brushing their teeth. They also help elders with chores and make the utility payments. One thing that is very important is that the care givers and Coordinated Home Health help their client to fill up applications to get public assistance. One important factor that involved elders is Alzheimer’s disease. This condition affects family members too; which is why this agency provides workshops to educate care givers and family members to understand Alzheimer‘s disease. To full manage this condition the best is to learn to understand the necessities of a person with Alzheimer’s. According to CDC web page in the article Alzheimer’s disease states,” According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer's disease may experience one or more of the following signs: Gets lost, has trouble handling money and paying bills, repeats questions, takes longer to complete normal daily tasks, displays poor judgment, loses things or misplaces them in odd places and displays mood and personality changes” (Alzheimer’s disease, July 25, 2014). Coordinated Home Health is an excellent resource to help people with these necessities.
Lastly I would like to state that the health of my community is a team work. Each agency works on their own but they are very closely correlated. They provide a multitude of services that help our community to be healthier and succeed in life. The passion that volunteers and administrators put in their cases is the most important contribution of our public health agencies. Without this passion I don’t think that the results can be the same.
Alzheimer's Disease. (July 25, 2014), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Retrieved from CDC web page, www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm
Mental Illness. (May 17, 2014). Overcoming the stigma of mental illness. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic web page, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/art-20046477
Sheetal R. (February 2012) Addressing Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities. Violence Against Women. Retrieved from VAW net.0rg http://www.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/AR_DVImmigrantComm.pdf
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