In order to obtain funding for community programs aimed at improving health care, there must be a person or group that sees the need for this to occur. This person or group would look to state agencies, school boards, or other facets to donate money. In this paper, a community nurse is writing to a state department of health to ask for a grant that would fund health programs aimed at children that would include exercise programs and nutrition counseling. The Sigma Theta Tau initiatives will be utilized to help the nurse provide evidence to convince the board that the program would be worthy of funding. The letter would read as follows: November 27, 2012
My name is ************* RN, the reason I am writing you today is asking to establish a community program focused on improving the health of adults that would include exercise and nutrition counseling. You may know that Sigma Theta Tau, an international nursing society committed to improving the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses (Sigma Theta Tau, 199-2011), has teamed with the United Nations, which is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights (United Nations, 2011), and established the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. I would like to address, specifically, reducing child mortality by increasing their physical activity and educating them on healthy food choices. While performing an assessment of the community, I found that it was lacking in resources for children to make healthy choices that would prepare them for a lifetime of positive choices.
I have chosen to contact you because your group plays a vital role in the health and safety of children demonstrated by the headstart program and food pantry to name two. I understand Northeast Iowa Community Action is a non-profit organization reliant upon grants, which can limit the amount of aid provided to the community. Continued stimulus changes and reforms are also affecting community health care. To combat the deficiencies identified, I have a proposal that would encourage youth to increase their physical activity and make healthier choices at mealtimes, especially at home. Initially, I would talk to children as a group, first to identify their interests and abilities to do group exercises. I would then talk to children individually to find out their specific eating habits, especially the meals they eat with their families during non-school times. A meeting would need to be set up with the school board and dietary staff to discuss current meal plans and options for increasing their nutritional value. There are many produce growers in this community and establishing incentives for a farm to school program would benefit these children immensely. According to Farm to School 2011, this type of program began in an effort to bring healthy, fresh produce to schools and help lower the occurrence of childhood obesity.
With additional funding from a grant we could partner with this program and provide not only healthy food but food that is sustainable which would boost the local economy. “In, The Voice of Florence Nightingale on Advocacy, they state that while Nightingale did not directly use the word advocacy as a nursing responsibility, her actions and her writing were consistently about advocating for change. The woman who is credited with establishing nursing as a profession, rather than a domestic service, advocated for individuals, specific groups, and society as a whole. She was aware of the need to overcome gender bias through increasing opportunities for women. She insisted on equity of care regardless of religion or faith, and was a crusader for basic human rights. Selanders and Crane remind us that her techniques became the basis for modern nursing leadership theories, and that it is clear Florence Nightingale knew the importance of both leadership and advocacy. Nightingale has been followed by generations of nurses who have identified the needs of patients and taken action to get these needs met. Mary Maryland and Rose Gonzalez offer examples of how this mission continues today in their article, “Patient Advocacy in the Community and Legislative Arenas.”
They point out that because nurses are trusted by patients and the public as a whole, we can influence care in our own communities, our states, and our nation by taking part in the legislative process. We are reminded that we have important information to share with our governmental representatives and policy makers about the effects of their choices and legislation on individuals and groups. The authors educate readers on how the lawmaking process works along with ways for nurses to get involved. Their specific examples of advocacy for individual patients and community programs are especially helpful for nurses who are working to improve healthcare locally,” (Overview and Summary, 2012, p1). As you can see, childhood obesity is of great concern to me and by taking immediate steps to attempt to reduce the risk this community would be well on its way to achieving one of the goals set forth by the UN and Sigma Theta Tau.
The community would benefit tremendously in the long run as the children grow up making wise decisions regarding their health. If the children learn from an early age the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, they should be more likely to make healthier decisions in the future. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I hope you agree with me that this is urgently needed in order to help get our children on the right track towards a successful future. I anxiously await your response. Sincerely,