The Journal of Health and Human Services Administration adopts a broad perspective that addresses the creation of healthy communities across five (5) dimensions: Civic Health, Environmental Health, Individual Health, Community Health, and Economic Health.
The journal’s objectives for this approach are to:
- Create dialog that is interdisciplinary in nature and brings new approaches to long-standing community issues.
- Revisit traditional conceptions and indicators of community health to explore both a sustainable philosophy and reflect the five identified dimensions.
- Re-conceptualize resiliency to include gradual and chronic threats to community health and apply it to existing frameworks of resilience research.
- Promote a multi-dimensional, holistic approach toward community health based on sustainability and resiliency.
Healthy Communities Model
Communities are in various states of health. They can be distressed, vulnerable, and stable. Traditional models of community health focus on raising health levels from a distressed or vulnerable state to a stable situation. However, these models ignore the need to ensure that healthy communities become sustainable and resilient ones. The following model demonstrates that healthy communities can fall back into a distressed state without attention to generate a sustained health that is resilient to shocks to stability. It is important to note that resiliency should be conceptualized beyond emergency situations, as many current external threats to healthy communities are gradual or chronic in nature.
The Healthy Community Model is a holistic approach to community health, which includes the dimensions of:
- Citizens engaged in the governance of their community
- Citizens volunteering to help each other
- Strong fiscal condition of public and nonprofit institutions
- Basic environmental needs are met – clean air, clean water, safe soil
- Built environment is healthy – safe homes, safe streets, safe parks
- Positive health outcomes for all age groups and categories of citizens
- Healthy behaviors are promoted and supported in the community
- Family health influences both individuals and the community
- Socialization opportunities are utilized by all citizens and age groups
- Healthcare services and social services are utilized by all
- Mental health services are readily available
- Robust, diverse, localized economy provides employment opportunities for all citizens.