response to student post below
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Arizona is interesting to transplants like myself in the fact that its demographics alternate like a checkerboard. What I mean by this is it almost seems as if affluent, and impoverished areas alternated rapidly, at least while in Phoenix (Maricopa County). At times it seems as if every 3-4 miles or less you will rapidly go from multimillion dollar homes, to impoverished areas with very apparent and abundant food deserts. The affluent neighborhoods right next door make it known that they do not want the people from the community over to come in to their area. For an Arizona transplant like myself this is odd and something that it still hard to get used to. Where I am from, and from pretty much every other state I have lived in it the demographics of an area are very well known by well defined town or city limits. If you were in town A you generally had a pretty good understanding of what to expect in that town or area. Same if you traveled to town B. Given that Phoenix is technically one big city, it makes for demographics really interesting to analyze. Phoenix is a very rich cultural area with a highly diversified population. 32% of phoenix identify as Hispanic or black (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021).
Narrowing in on one risk factor which of course is not entirely excusive to Arizona, but drug abuse and addiction. Perhaps not surprisingly the states with the top 10 homeless populations also rank in the top 10 for drug addiction in the United States. Arizona ranks 9th in homeless population(USICOH). For a myriad of reasons this makes for health prevention, access to primary care, early diagnosis, and treatment incredibly difficult. Physical barriers is one thing that makes access to healthcare difficult for the homeless population. No car, no internet, are two barriers that do not even begin to scratch the surface of the issues this population faces when it comes to healthcare and utilizing resources and preventative medicine.
Health disparities in Phoenix at times seem so glaring, and very much are. As mentioned before with the checkerboard. Phoenix has some of the most affluent communities in the country, budded up next to areas with some of the worst crime and homicide rates when measured by square footage. Yes, footage not mileage. Similar to some communities in Chicago and other well-known high crime areas, there are parts of phoenix that bud right up to multimillion dollar homes where paramedics are instructed to not go under any circumstances. Health literacy is not limited to understanding healthy behaviors, and a personâ€™s unique medical needs, but also encompasses the ability for a person to find and use information, services, and healthcare to make health related decisions). Health literacy is a major issue in phoenix. The main factors that affect health literacy in major cities such as Phoenix include poverty level, education, race/ethnicity, age, and disability (Liu, et al. 2020. These wide range of variables make for closing the gap on health literacy difficult in a community as large as Phoenix.
Arizona’s population more than 7 million in 2020, up 11% since 2010. United States Census Bureua. (2021, August 25). Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/state-by-state/arizona-population-change-between-census-decade.html
Liu C, Wang D, Liu C, et al
What is the meaning of health literacy? A systematic review and qualitative synthesis
Family Medicine and Community Health 2020;8:e000351. doi: 10.1136/fmch-2020-000351
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (n.d.). Arizona homelessness statistics. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.usich.gov/homelessness-statistics/az/