Typical health programs in community settings offer health screenings, treatment for chronic conditions, and prevention of diseases. Some programs also address substance abuse prevention and community organizing. Others, such as the state children’s health insurance program (SCHIP), were created for low-income children and families.
To develop effective public health programs, it is important to have a strong presence in the media. It is also essential to present a human face to decision makers, and to raise awareness of healthy behaviors and threats to health. Creating a coalition among disparate groups can help build an effective long-term program.
The federal government has developed six major health programs that serve low-income families and individuals: Medicaid, Medicare, HHS, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program. These programs provide medical care to approximately one third of the American population.
These programs serve a wide range of populations, including the elderly, women, children, and people with disabilities. However, each program is limited by a number of practical limitations, including financial resources, human resources, and institutional capacity. Some programs, such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, are especially designed for low-income groups, and others, such as the VHA, are geared to military personnel.