The health of a population is critical. Health care providers should strive to create awareness about the need for disease prevention and effective management of conditions, such as chronic disorders. It is for this reason that caregivers focus on health promotion and health education within their communities. They concentrate on behaviors, systems, policies, and environments that affect health at diverse levels. They help people to develop health-seeking behaviors and decisions that affect their wellness. Health promotion theories are critical in assessing the health needs of the community to implement promotion and education activities. The process involves collaborative efforts between individuals, institutions, organizations, and the entire community. Although health promotion and health education are related concepts in creating awareness regarding self-care, they differ in the means through which they achieve the objective.
The Differences Between Health Education and Health Promotion
Health education and health promotion are different but related concepts and activities. The former is a useful strategy in the implementation of health promotion in communities. It helps in creating awareness regarding disease prevention programs. Besides, it provides critical learning experiences on various health issues. The educational programs are customized to meet the needs of the target population. Health education involves information sharing with the community on specific health issues, such as risk factors of medical conditions. Besides, they provide tools and resources for capacity-building and promote behavior change in particular settings. Activities, which include courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, webinars, and classes, should promote the general objective of health promotion program. Health promotion enables members of the target community to improve control and achieve their health goals. It focuses on individual behavior as well as various social and environmental programs that improve individual and community health.
Health Promotion Referral Organizations
The United States has a number of health promotion organizations. Health Promotion (2019) lists some of the local and national organizations, which operate at both national and local levels. Healthy Dining has a local organization within the community that promotes healthy food choices among Americans. They have a website known as HealthyDiningFinder.com that provides a list of healthier menus to help in preventing lifestyle diseases. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is another health promotion organization, which operate under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help members of the community to overcome chronic health conditions, such as diabetes. The firm operates another organization to promote knowledge regarding drug control, the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The organization engages in policy and program formulation regarding drug control. AARP helps in health promotion affecting people aged 50 and above. Center for Health and Health Care in Schools supports the well-being of children and youth. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation is a local not-for-profit organization that supports research and education. These are some of the organizations that engage in health promotion in the local community.
Evidence of Application of Health Promotion Organizations
Research evidence reveals the positive impact of health promotion programs and organizations in creating awareness within communities, regarding the need for disease prevention. The organizations focus on various aspects of care and target diverse populations to educate them about their health. For example, some firms target individuals at the risk of chronic diseases while others help to intervene in medical conditions that affect the elderly in the community. They focus on the health and well-being of the target population. Evidence from evaluations of some of the initiatives reveal that effectively implemented programs play a significant role in creating the necessary awareness. However, only targeted activities have been shown to have a positive impact on members of the community. The evidence reveals the need for implementers to ensure that they have evaluated the actual needs of the targeted populations to implement successful health promotion interventions.
Researchers have focused on the already-implemented health promotion projects by particular organizations. For instance, Wilson and Cordier (2013) conducted a review to establish the impact of a program targeting men and boys to promote their health and well-being. The program supports the observation that the health of this population has gained attention in research, policy, and practice in the last few decades. Previously, only women health and well-being were emphasized in various programs. The targeted program for evaluation indicated the need for continued effort to implement health promotion programs directed to men and boys. Such organizations as The National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America, (YMCA) have supported health promotion from a spiritual perspective. The programs have achieved positive results in promoting preventive health care initiatives targeting men and boys. Similar programs are available for other groups and are effective in achieving the self-efficacy and disease prevention goals.
Evidently, the success of health promotion organizations depends on the nature and implementation of health education activities. Belza et al. (2015) revealed that such organizations implement programs to help the target communities to overcome the risk and effect of diverse health challenges. For example, the YMCA helps the segment of the community to overcome the risk and impact of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses before their development. They promote prevention efforts through activities such as individual and group fitness regimens, fitness testing, health education, aerobic conditioning, and weight management. Other programs emphasize on other risk factors depending on the target population and the health affliction under focus. Effective programs provide assessment and development of personalized programs for health promotion and disease prevention. They provide critical information to the community to learn about the program and related activities to promote healthy behaviors.
The effectiveness of health promotion programs and organizations emanate from collaborative efforts involving researchers, policy-makers, and health professionals with adequate knowledge regarding the target community and inherent health care needs. They conduct a successful assessment to understand the actual health needs within the target community and what affects a particular population (Eldredge et al., 2016). They collect adequate data from the community to create personalized projects. For example, they identify the actual risks inherent in the community. Consequently, they address the health challenges by implementing targeted interventions.
Health promotion achieved through, among other things, health education is an important initiative in communities to improve the well-being of individuals and groups. Health promotion organizations have been developed, locally, nationally, and internationally, which implement targeted interventions to address various health needs. Locally, various organizations have supported the achievement of better health among many populations. They assess the needs and risks of the target community to be effective. Research evidence shows that organizations, such as YMCA, have been effective in achieving health promotion objectives. However, their success depends on their design and implementation, such as targeted to specific populations.