Eliminating Health Care Disparities (SOCW 6204, MEDICAL SOCIAL WORK).

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To prepare for this Assignment, select a public health issue of interest to you (e.g., obesity, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental health).

In a 5 page report:

  • Describe the specific population(s) (ethnic or racial group,
    homosexuals, veterans, women, children, adolescents, etc.) affected by
    the health issue you selected. Explain how this population is
    discriminately affected by the health issue you selected.
  • Explain the primary determinants of the health issue. Then, explain
    how these determinants contribute to the disparities in care for the
    population.
  • Explain what specific social work interventions you might implement
    to address this health issue, reduce or eliminate disparities, and
    improve health outcomes.
  • Identify some challenges you may encounter when implementing the
    interventions. Then, explain the strategies you might employ to address
    these challenges.
  • Explain the advocacy roles a medical social worker might play in
    addressing the disparities in health care for the health issues and
    population you selected.
  • Cite your response using external scholarly resources.

Required Readings

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of health social work (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Chapter 7, “Community and Health” (pp. 143–163)

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of health social work (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Chapter 4, “Public Health and Social Work”
    • Section: “History of Public Health and Social Work” (pp. 65–67)
    • Section: “Common Values” (pp. 70–75)



Coren, E., Iredale, W., Rutter, D., & Bywaters, P. (2011). The contribution of social work and social interventions across the life course to the reduction of health inequalities: A new agenda for social work education? Social Work Education, 30(6), 594–609.



Craig, S. L., Bejan, R., & Muskat, B. (2013). Making the invisible visible: Are health social workers addressing the social determinants of health?. Social Work in Health Care, 52(4), 311-331.


Errickson, S. P., Alvarez, M., Forquera, R., Whitehead, T. L., Fleg, A., … Schoenbach, V. J. (2011). What will health-care reform mean for minority health disparities? Public Health Reports, 126(2), 170–175. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056029/



Nguyen, D. D., Ho, K. H., & Williams, J. H. (2011). Social determinants and health service use among racial and ethnic minorities: Findings from a community sample. Social Work in Health Care, 50(5), 390–405.



Robinson, L. M., Dauenhauer, J., Bishop, K. M., & Baxter, J. (2012). Growing health disparities for persons who are aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities: The social work linchpin. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 55(2), 175–190.

Optional Resources


Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). HHS action plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. A nation free of disparities in health and health care. Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/files/Plans/HHS/HHS_Plan_complete.pdf

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