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Population Health

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Population Health & Scripture
Kimberly Folck
Liberty University
NUR 503
Managing Population Health
July 23, 2014

Abstract
This paper will summarize the worldview of Christianity and how the framework of Christianity can provide the elements needed in caring for the population. The focus will be on several scriptures and writings from the Bible and other sources and how they apply to the individual and the community as a whole as Christians.

Population Health & Scripture
Christianity
Within the pages of the Bible there are stories of Jesus caring for people. Jesus cared for those in need, for those who were sick, and fed those who were hungry. It is because of His teachings that Christians continue to follow within His footsteps to do the same. The teachings that are within the Bible provide a framework for a worldwide Christian view to population health. Christians are called to help others just as Jesus did. To care for others without regard to social status, financial status, or even religious beliefs, Christians are similar to the health care system within the United States. The healthcare system in the United States does not turn away those in need of care; however, the costs can cause a person to not seek the care that is needed. According to a study conducted called Religion & Public Life Project approximately 78.4% of Americans are Christian in faith. If all practicing Christians approached caring for others within the population as the Bible states we should, many of the US health care concerns could be improved and a better quality of life would be the result. James 5:16 states “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” This tells the Christian population to pray for each other, to talk to one another, and that there is great healing in prayer. This scripture not only gives a basis for compassion for one another, but for compassion of the population in which we reside.
Population Health & Christianity To decipher which scriptures would guide us to a worldwide biblical view of population health this paper will first focus on the Ten Commandments and the ability of this guideline to improve how improvements can be made to the population. Found in several books of the Bible, the Ten Commandments provides a framework of life, relationships, commitments, and caring for others. A framework for spiritual health may be found within the first of the Ten Commandments. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:2-3. Maintaining a healthy relationship with God will maintain a healthy mind and soul. Mental health awareness and stability can improve as the relationship with God improves. You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 You shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my Commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6.
The second Commandment gives another element into spiritual health and guidance. This element is crucial in the care of an individual in order to meet the needs of the Christian to care for the whole person entirely. As a reminder from God, the Second Commandment reminds us that we are created in the image of God and that our spiritual health is just as important as physical health. Even through various problems in life, God is greater than any of these.
The Third Commandment concerns respect. Respect of God, ourselves, and others. Attitude, speech, and behavior are represented within the Third Commandment and teach the Christian about good versus bad relationships. God wants our relationships to empower us and allow us to empower others in life. Population health addresses instances of the abused and neglected patients and the guidance we gain from the Third Commandment teaches that this is a direct negligence of God’s word to respect each other. This can also give a guideline to the respect of the body. Overeating, misuse of medications or alcohol, and other ways the body could be abused is a reflection of how God and we are respected.
The Fourth Commandment reminds to keep the Sabbath. This allows the body to rest and rejuvenate for the week. It allows a time to honor God and the work that He has done as well. It is also seen in another verse. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. The Sabbath allows a chance for change in life, change in attitude, and a change in the way life is headed. It is a promise of a new day. Physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health may all improve on the Sabbath.
God instructs us to love. Love should be evident in our everyday lives and especially to our parents. Population health focuses on elderly care and the needs for improvement in geriatric care. This concern within society is directly evident within the Commandments and respect and love of our elderly. A worldview biblical approach to care of the elderly is already given within the Fifth Commandment.
The Fifth through the Tenth Commandment provide a framework as a way to conduct the approach to human behavior. Strong families are built from strong faith that in turn becomes strong communities and so on. When the family is torn apart the end results can turn tragic. Population health has a foundation of building stronger foundations as well. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first Commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” Ephesians 6:2-3.
References
Pender, N., Murdaugh, C. & Parsons, M. (2011). Health Promotion in Nursing Practice, (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education
Vigeu, Anna M. (2009). “Heal the sick”: Why public health care is a Christian duty. Retrieved from www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2009/07/15
Wallace, P. (2011). Population health in action: Successful models. In D. B. Nash, J. Reifsnyder,
R. J. Fabius, & V. P. Pracilio (Eds.). Population Health: Creating a Culture of Wellness. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning ed.

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