The United States is a very multifaceted country which welcomes people from all over the world. Even though many nationalities live on the territory of the US, they need to adhere to certain rules and laws. The prevalent communities are Latino/Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native Americans, and non-Hispanic Whites. As Florida is a southern state, historical circumstances predisposed that Hispanic population is predominant there, while Blacks and non-Hispanic whites form other large communities of the state. The process of assimilation is long-lasting, many approaches are taken to make it gradually and smoothly. Anyway, communities still keep their culture and traditions, including those related to the health care. Heritage assessment is aimed to identify, access, and compare the needs of minorities to address the health maintenance, evaluation and restoration.
The heritage assessment implies interviewing three representatives from different communities in Miami. Therefore, conversation with Rodriguez family from Hispanic community, Murphy family from Blacks, and Powell family from non-Hispanic Whites was conducted. First, the information from Rodriguez family would be presented, evaluated, and critically analyzed. Father Carlos reports that his parents moved from Puerto Rico fifty years ago and set in Miami, Florida. Even though the family has been living in the US for a long time, they still follow local traditions and customs, speak Spanish mostly, and visit motherland every year. They value their cultural heritage, and the members of Hispanic community also share respect towards it.
When it comes to the healthcare services, Carlos says that the situation is rather complicated as some community members prefer traditional healing methods, while others have insurance and visit hospitals when any assistance is needed. Moreover, traditional healthcare practices vary across Hispanic minorities and can be significantly different in Puerto Rican and Colombian members. In general, Latino people have a critical view towards the Western medicine and prefer traditional folk methods primarily because of financial, linguistic, and social miss-adaptation issues. Instead, traditional healing practices are related to gathering herbs, keeping candles, images, and other specific cultural objects.
Another interviewed family was from the Black people community in Miami. During the conversation, it became clear that there are three sub-groups of Blacks in Florida: Haitians, Bahamians and African Americans. The first two cohorts comprise those who migrated from the corresponding countries, the last includes those whose ancestors came to Florida as slaves, and Murphy’s family is among those. Therefore, cultural background does not differ greatly from general, however, the common health problems are tightly connected with the color of skin. The most prevalent health issues for African Americans include “high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure and cancer” (Mandal, Scott, Islam, & Mandal, 2013, p. 1). John Murphy reported that those are closely associated not only with genetics but with the lifestyle of black people, including fast food eating habits and smoking.
When discussing health maintenance and assessment, John Murphy emphasized on the limited healthcare access and insurance coverage for black people. It is not a secret that Blacks usually have lower socioeconomic status, which is tightly connected with inadequate housing, poor living and working conditions, insufficient nutrition. Black people of different sub-groups mostly live in a separate Miami region not far from the ocean. John also emphasized that there are not enough medical services amenities and establishment in the area.
The smallest community in Miami is non-Hispanic Whites, and Powell’s family is its representative, the members of which are working in the tourist industry. Andrew Powell acknowledges that there is a racial bias in Florida, many non-White people are not insured, therefore, have a non-adequate access to the healthcare facilities. For decades, Florida was among the states with the highest percentage of residents with no insurance, and the government does not provide enough assistance (Lebron, Stoutenberg, Portacio, & Zollinger, 2016). Luckily, the Powell’s family is fully covered and uses traditional medical services when necessary.
Apparently, Miami is a multinational and multicultural city, where traditions and cultures of different communities are intersected. Even though Spanish is heard most frequently in the city, “the prevalence of English use among the second generation of Cuban Spanish speakers in Miami is already quite clear” (Carter & Lynch, 2015, p. 371). Sometimes it seems that cultural minorities rather rely on community support rather than on state or federal services. This happens primarily due to several major reasons: while some people prefer to stick to their traditional healthcare healings, others simply do not have an adequate access towards the medical services so that many non-Whites remain uninsured.
When comparing traditions and healthcare practices among the representatives of different ethnic and cultural communities of Miami, multiple evident varieties emerge. Based on the results of three interviews, black people seem to experience the poorest health conditions in general because they often do not have insurance and also specific healthcare traditions. As the interview was conducted with the member of African American society in Florida, the healthcare approaches may differ in Haitian and Bahamian blacks. Still, Latino ethnic group has better economic outcomes that of the black residents. However, compared to non-Hispanic Whites, “Hispanics disproportionately suffer from health conditions affected by health inactivity and poor dietary habits” (Lebron et al., 2016, p. 125). They also rely on their cultural healing methods because of a strong belief that traditional medicine does not have an appropriate approach in addressing specific problems.
Based on the information acquired, it is possible to address health maintenance, protection, and restoration. While the white population of Miami experiences the greatest percentage of healthcare coverage with easy access to services, this community constitutes only a minor part of total population in the state. Meanwhile, majority of Hispanic residents come from various Latin American regions. The heritage assessment has revealed that they suffer from poorer health than non-Hispanic Whites, and affected primarily by poor nutrition and inactivity. Also, there is a cultural and language barriers that prevent the community members from utilization of traditional medical services. Anyway, the worst situation is amongst Blacks in Miami. Their lifestyle, low socioeconomic status and poor living conditions only promote the aptitude towards chronic disease common for Blacks, but at the same time they do not have full healthcare coverage in majority of cases.
Assessment of the healthcare traditions of different cultures in Miami, Florida, revealed many points for consideration. Hispanic people possess the most powerful cultural heritage with a range of healing methods practiced for centuries. However, those healing are used for the following reasons reasons: a strong belief in the power of herbs and cultural attributes, the issues connected with linguistic and cultural differences. The major problem in Latino people is related to poor dietary habits and inactivity that negatively influence health. Insufficient nutrition is also prevalent among Blacks, however, their socioeconomic status, lifestyles, and living conditions have a greater impact on health. The results of heritage assessment have also shown that Whites are mostly covered with health insurance, while other communities do not always have an adequate access to the healthcare services. Considering all the information mentioned above, the racial bias is evident, therefore, governmental services are supposed to take measures to improve the situation.
Carter, P.M., & Lynch, A. (2015). Multilingual Miami: Current trends in sociolinguistic research. Language and Linguistics Compass, 9(9), 369-385.
Lebron, C., Stoutenberg, M., Portacio, F., & Zollinger, T.W. (2016). A community needs assessment of the physical activity and food environment in a predominantly Hispanic U.S. City. Hispanic Health Care International, 14(3), 124-131.
Mandal, A., Scott, J., Islam, N.K., & Mandal, P.K. (2013). Factors affecting African-American health: Empowering the community with health literacy. Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotech, 3(1), 1-2.
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