- Community Health Improvement Plan Progress 44%
Where do we start?
I am concerned that once young children start school and no longer need vaccines that they no longer participate in preventative health care. A large percentage of our youth population is missing out on targeted care and education simply because there is no longer a big push to prevent. I would love to see efforts placed at getting kids in for annual visits with targeted education related to issues facing them at each stage of development. How can we get community partners to encouraged routine health care that may prevent future health issues.
Something that's severely lacking are the quality of life options for those in the service industry and basic workforce.
Entertainment for the family, a gym or fitness facility, music/concert/art venues, and accessible community education programs in Oakland.
Options for entertainment that are no to low-cost. A lot of local families can't afford to go out of town for concerts, plays, festivals/fairs, or even have the transport to do so.
Even to go to the WISP or out to a nice dinner is above their means. There's a lot of sedentary activity because on a shoe-string budget the best you can do is Redbox and cheap pizza/fast food.
Another concern being unable to afford and sustain a fitness regimen. Most people are tired from having to work all day, can't leave children unsupervised, and have no support system. At best, people get exercise walking to their jobs and for them it's more mandatory than optional. We don't really have a community space with equipment, classes, and play areas/daycare services for youth that is year-round. Locals may be able to take advantage of the walking trails but when cold weather hits you're stuck inside.
For people struggling with quitting cigarettes or other vices it's an added improvement if there's fitness options available so they can take their journey of personal wellness that extra step, and keep going. If there were activities that involved group exercise for family units it would strengthen their bodies and familial ties. Dance, Mommy and Me Yoga, and forms of group play would be great alternatives to resorting to TV or the internet as entertainment if the option for an activity space were available and affordable.
When Poke'mon go was trending, all ages and types of people were walking about Downtown. That was great.
There's also a lack of arts and culture that's appropriate and realistic to the demographic. There's a lot of hidden talent if not curiosity with the local workforce but no venue to foster creative growth. It's still assumed that to express oneself is a thing that professionals do away from society and you can't be creative unless you're flawless. People around here love to craft which counts as expression, kids are always eager to paint and draw, and even something as basic as Karaoke can get anyone up to sing. The arts just aren't being communicated as an activity that's inclusive and fun. Something as simple as a sidewalk drawing mural festival/cookout would beautify the town and get the community out and engaged with each other.
It would also be neat to have community workshops in town for local residents to attend. I'm not sure what type of workshops, anything from basic home repair, carpentry, car basics, composting, or even sewing circles. Trades and crafts that those in the workforce already know and have a long history with they would feel comfortable showing to others.
That's just from what I've observed here and from other places I've lived/traveled.
I was fortunate to grow up in a community that had a "Recreation Center" for use by the public. It included 2 gyms: one for gymnastics and one for basketball and volleyball. There were ping pong tables in another area and several classrooms for yoga, ceramics, painting, drawing classes, sewing classes, cooking classes, etc. This was a prosperous and well educated community that also provided a large outdoor pool that was heated for the swim team and the public to use. Eventually the high schools built indoor swimming pools for the swim teams, students and public to use for water aerobics classes, scuba classes, and swimming lessons. If we only had a small facility with one gym and some activities for people to enjoy it would be great. The classes were inexpensive and it was a matter of signing out ping pong paddles and balls, basketballs, etc with a small deposit (then it was 25 or 50 cents). I did find a grant that could be used to build a community center. It is through the USDA rural development and the page is located here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program. It looks like the State of Maryland does not have an office of the USDA. I am guessing that the national office would have to be contacted. Does this sound like an answer for providing activities? I know that when school was out, my brother and I were there a lot. We also played outdoors with the children in the neighborhood, played board games on rainy days, went to the library and built model airplanes. There were no electronic games to involve us then. Ahhh! the good old days.
Maybe we need to include a yearly check up as a prerequisite for entry into school to make sure that the student is well and that all of their health issues are being addressed.
Students and parents could possibly sign the child up for an appointment during the first week or two of school if we could get a physician or PCP to come to the school to see students. That way transportation would not be a problem for those students whose parents cannot take them in to the doctor. The logistics could get a bit complicated.
I think that if there was any way to have school based health clinics it would be great, but from what I understand it is difficult to get funding to keep our school nurses.
I would love to see school based health clinics instituted in the community. They could provide primary care services to students of the school system. The could also provide a space for illnesses that affect our children through out the course of a school year. Many communities across the country are embracing school based clinics as a bridge for access to care for children. By having the clinics in the schools there would be fewer issues with absenteeism and transportation and would guarantee access for all students. Iy may be tricky for some consent issues, but other systems have dealth with this issue successfully obviously otherwise school clinics wouldn't be thriving. I would love to work on a project that spear headed getting these clinics instituted for our students.