Bridging the gap: to what extent do socioeconomic barriers impede response to emerging public health threats?
Neuert, Donald L.
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It is crucial for public health emergency planners and responders to realize and account for socioeconomic barriers and the challenges they pose when faced with a bioterrorism, infectious disease, or other emerging public health threat impacting the homeland. The study design of this research incorporated two particular paradigms, investigative and predictive. The researcher found that social and economic factors account for nearly 40 percent of health outcomes in the United States. Public health and its response partners need to plan for emergencies using a 60/40 lens. He discovered that at least 40 percent of populations may not receive the critical health care they require in emergencies because of socioeconomic status or related factors. This thesis investigated the language, culture and historical trauma barriers—and affiliated challenges, such as fear and distrust—that exist throughout the country. Given these findings, this thesis provides both policy- and strategy-level recommendations to assist public health and healthcare practitioners in their efforts to bridge the gap that exists within and between community populations in the United States. Disciplines that consider implementing these recommendations will help minimize significant, and perhaps avoidable, consequences that follow health-related emergencies or varied disasters impacting the homeland.
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