COMMUNITY HEALTH PRACTICE
BY GUILLAUME KENGNI
My community is Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The Church Hill community I’m introducing for this assignment is also known as St John’s Church Historic District community in Richmond. Two reasons guided my choice of Church Hill for this task. I live in this community and work at Richmond Community Hospital in Church Hill. Consequently, I interact with this population more than any other community. Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Richmond is at the fall line of James River, 44 miles west of Williamsburg, 66 miles east of Charlottesville and 98 miles south of Washington, DC. This community is also well known by tourists who often curious to discover the site of Virginia’s second revolutionary convention where Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in March 23, 1775. Moreover Visitors tour Church Hill to see Chimborazo Park, the place where the largest American Civil War Hospital was built. To better understand this community for this assignment, I visited streets, café, restaurants, barber shops, and clinics several times at diverse moments to observe its population and appreciate its architecture. I also interviewed a sample of randomly selected patients and staffs of Richmond Community Hospital.
Richmond Community Hospital, with 106 beds is one of the smallest hospitals in Richmond. Built in 1965, originally owned by a group of Black physicians, this hospital is now part of Bon Secours Health System, a non-profit organization. Richmond Community Hospital mainly serves the people of Church Hill. Although 90% of the patients arrive via ambulation service, more than 95% of Richmond Community Hospital clientele live in 10 miles radian. More than 80% of non-licensed staffs at this hospital live in this community. These staffs are office clerks, dietary personnel, housekeeping workers and patient technicians. The vast majority of these listed personnel do not own a mean of transportation; they walk to work or get a ride from GRTC bus service and relatives. In the contrary to non-licensed personnel, more than 95% of the licensed staffs and administrative workers at Richmond Community Hospital commute in average of 35 minutes every working day to get to this working place. Few employees of this category do live as far as an hour and a half from the hospital. These disparities among Richmond Community Hospital’s employee living accommodation can be enlightened through community assessment.
Church Hill population is estimated at 2300 living soles. This community is 85% African Americans living in small single family houses and apartments. They live at its east side, near east Henrico County. Despite house renovations throughout, it is evident at first sight that Church Hill is an old community from its architecture and landscape. The majorities of houses is built on less than 1500 square feet and are a composite of two bedrooms and one bathroom. These houses are in average 70 years old and most units are protected by metallic fence. Most family in this area is unemployed and is on welfare. A record number of Richmond city community house is in this side of Church Hill with Creighton Court, Hillside Court, Gilpin Court, Fairfield Court, Whitcomb Court, Mosby Court and Blackwell Court. These families are on the city social program because their median annual income is less than $ 9,000.These are single parent families of three or four for the most part. Mothers have started these families during their teen years. Although few senior citizens are still living in their 70’s years old homes, this community is mainly dominated by children supported by young adult parents. This situation concurs to higher teen pregnancy rate. In fact, a lot of young girl choose early childbearing over school