Health Services in Ross County

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Ross County is about 688 square miles and only 3% is used for residential, industrial and commercial purposes. Forests cover more than 45% of the land while 14% used for pasture and the remaining 38% farmland. The residential, industrial and commercial are confined to one side of the land. Land utilization in this community leaves a lot of land mass for forestry and vegetation therefore promoting environmental conservation activities. The forests also provide a clean environment that is suitable for human living (Dale & Woods, 2013). While major roads divide the neighborhoods by passing through the community, the rail is found on the edges of the community. The roads form the major form of transport and provide the community with easy transport services.

2. Street use

Many people are usually found in the streets during the day. During the evening and towards nighttime by around 8pm people mostly vacate the streets because of fear of criminal activities that are becoming rampant in the streets at night. The streets are fairly lit at night but this is not doing enough to reduce the criminal cases reported. During the day people interact with one another along the streets as they are the centers of commercial activities while at night interactions are limited. Lighting should be increased in the streets and police patrols should also be enhanced to enable community members interact with each other in the streets even at night times.

3. Signs

All the business in Ross County is signed in the English language. This is because the highest population is English speakers. Those who do not understand the English language are given appropriate assistance when they want to purchase something. In addition to business signs, all the traffic signs are also signed in English. They are very informative and accurate in telling distances and directions. The signs have been designed in such a way that someone can easily follow and find their routes in case they forget their way. All the indications such as downtowns, museums and highways are also present.

4. Infrastructure

Ross County has roads, bridges and sidewalks that are fairly in a good condition. Only 30% of the infrastructure require repair. This is notably a higher percentage as compared to the neighboring communities who pose an average of 90% of roads, sidewalks and bridges being in good conditions. The whole community also seems to be equally served by electricity, water, phone, fiber optic, wastewater treatment, waste disposal, and other infrastructure services. This is a recommendable move especially towards ensuring equality in provision of basic services to the community members. There is a central waste water treatment plant that is available for both household and industrial use. This ensures all wastewater is treated before being released into the environment thus reducing the chances of communal infections such as cholera and typhoid. Waste disposal sites are also designated to ensure central waste collection and appropriate disposal. The whole community is assured of electric and clean water supply to all regions.

5. Environmental quality.

Ross County is about 688 square miles and only 3% is used for residential, industrial and commercial purposes. Forests cover more than 45% of the land while 14% used for pasture and the remaining 38% farmland. The residential, commercial and industrial areas are however confined in a single space but this still leaves the community with clean and fresh air. There are no noticeable smells of smoke, garbage, car exhaust, chemicals and industrial wastes. The industries in this region follow strict policies of treating their wastes before they are released into the environment. Water resources such as rivers and ponds have clear waters a sign of clean environment that is properly managed. Smog is usually present in the early hours of the day with clear weather seen towards noon. Properly maintained environment is a strong determinant of a healthy community because they are able to prevent outbreak and spread of disease like cholera. In addition, keeping clear air helps in preventing and controlling airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma (Dale & Woods, 2013).

6. Race/ethnicity

Among the population of Ross county residence 89% are whites with majority of the remaining percentage being blacks.  About 2% of the people do not speak English language while 99% are citizens of the United States. It is also worth noting that most of the white population lives in richer areas as compared to the blacks. This is attributed to by the levels of income and family wealth as whites are agreeably richer than their black counterparts. The whites can therefore afford quality healthcare in the best healthcare centers in the county when compared to the black population. The small percentage of the population that speaks non-English language is a barrier to health seeking and healthcare provision because of poor communication. Other than healthcare affordability, racism has not affected the provision of much of the social services to the community members as equality is considered a basic principle among all community members.

7.  Health services.

The community has no big hospital but have around eight clinics that are located equidistantly to be able to provide healthcare services to all members of the community. The lack of big hospitals in the area means that in case of health emergencies that require more sophisticated equipment and services the patient must be ferried to another locality to receive care. Almost 90% of the participants go to see a doctor for their urgent medical needs while 8% do not go to a doctor. Barriers to seeking quality medical care include inability to afford healthcare due to financial constraints, insurance that do not cover the most important aspects of their health needs and inability to get appointment from the doctors. Unhealthy behaviors such as cigarette smoking, substance and drug abuse and alcoholism have led to increased occurrence of cancers and chronic diseases that are killing many people in this community (Mosby's dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions, 2006).

8. Community and public services

There exist different service providers within the community e.g. community nurses, disability support services, and crime victims and cancer support teams. In addition, community fire-fighters ant trainers are also available in the community. These groups offer free services without discrimination to all members of the community. Crime victims support teams take care of those may have uneventfully been injured by the criminals. The county also has a central food bank where foods are kept for consumption by those who cannot afford meals in their homes. There are two children homes that have been very helpful in taking care of children who have lost their parents or have been neglected for one reason or another. The community however lacks a mental health center to care for its mentally ill members. This is a serious issue that should be acted upon and a center put up as soon as possible.

9. Community organizations

The community boasts of several organizational groups and agencies that advocate for the community needs. They include political, socio-economic, religious, disability support services, and crime victims and cancer support teams. In addition, a number of civic groups exist who volunteer in support of different community courses. These community based organizations helped in encouraging interaction and collaboration among the members thereby improving unity. Most businessmen have also volunteered to support the community in terms of development using their influence and connections to positively effect changes in the community. The religious communities have been actively engaged in caring for the sick, the old and helping the poor. Groups tasked with providing services to the people living with disability have gone a long way in improving their self-esteem and advocating for equality when community services are being offered including employment opportunities.

10. Media

The main media found locally in this community is a newspaper called the Chillicothe Gazette. It has a wide circulation and readership among the community members. It is therefore a major source of information for the people. The use of social media is notably on the rise in the community with more than 25% of the population adopting its use. Many organizations including government agencies use these two avenues to communicate issues and events. They are also used to mobilize the public to engage in community services designed for community improvement and development.  The newspaper is printed by a private agency therefore preventing bias information while internet use is majorly regulated by the government so as to ensure information reaching the public is authentic.

11. Community safety

In Ross County security of its citizens is taken seriously with existence of a central police station helping to ensure this. Police also do constant patrols within the community to help in curbing the crimes that have been reported in the community. The community also has an average lighting systems to keep criminals away especially at night. Despite all these measures crime rates are still higher according to Federal Bureau of Investigation who have reported criminal activities at a rate of 102 violent crimes in every 100000 population. More strategies therefore need to be developed and implemented to reduce this rate of criminal activities. Another important aspect of community safety is the presence of firefighters to help residents during fire outbreaks. Ross County has firefighters which are accessible operational but the community require new ones with improved firefighting technology.

12. Higher education

Ross County has three main institutions of higher learning among them being Pickawy Ross Joint Vocational School District, Daymar College-Chillicothe and Ohio University- Chillicothe campus. All these institutions of higher learning produce around 500 graduates every year with Pickawy Ross Joint Vocational School District leading with around 300 graduates. Among the graduates females formed the bulk with around 70%. Most of the courses offered in these institutions are health related such as training of health aides, attendants and orderlies, technicians in emergency medicine (paramedics) and fire-fighting. These are important aspects of health care and provision of healthcare services. Tuition fees for pursuing these courses are also subsidized to about 6000 dollars making her learning more affordable to the community.

13. Political activity

Ross county community is largely involved in politics and governance. The community has a government structure supported by several commissions and committees. There are about seven commissions tasked with community planning, development and improvement. The committees have three members each who are the overseers of different county programs such as infrastructural improvement, budget management, planning and development. These are a sign of a community that is well organized politically to achieve their mandates. The well-organized governance structure has ensured that no demonstrations are witnessed within the community. The community members are also encouraged to air their opinions through their representatives so that any arising matters are sufficiently dealt with. Politics and political activities are therefore encouraged in the county as this encourages proper governance and accountability from the leaders.

14. The “feel” of the community

Despite the community being burdened with negative factors influencing the health outcome of its people there are also positive aspects that were realized. For example, the community is slowly improving in coalitions and partnerships, improving access to resources and public healthcare systems becoming more dynamic. Ross County itself remains a good place for raising children, taking care of the old and good healthcare systems are available to the citizens. These factors are encouraging that the programs for healthy people 2020 are achievable (Maurer & Smith, 2013). The community is therefore better placed as compared to its neighborhood communities. The community was friendly to us and provided with sufficient information that we were in need of. This made our assessments and data collections easy.



Dale, C., & Woods, P. (2013). A risk assessment and management strategy for community nursing. British Journal Of Community Nursing, 5(6), 286-290.

Maurer, F., & Smith, C. (2013). Community / public health nursing practice. St. Louis: Elsevier.

Mosby's dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions. (2006). St. Louis, Mo.

October 13, 2023


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