Online Program

Theory of social disruption and the silent silver serpents

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Damon Arnold, COL., M.D., M.P.H., Medical Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Chicago, IL
There is a continuous level of background social disruption within disparately impacted communities, where inequities abound. It is very easy to point out factors which gain immediate media attention due to their precipitous and "explosive" appearance within communities of color. However, the real threats are often ignored and even trivialized due to the fact that they are accepted as what is "customary and usual." These are what I call the "silent silver serpents." This term relates to a serpent (a harmful agent or condition) that becomes silver (with the passage of a requisite amount of time)and does so in a silent (unnoticed and unheaded) fashion. Once the serpent gains strenght and becomes manifest, however, it strikes and results in pain, suffering and, all too often, a premature death. In order to explain this theory, I list and use several examples of disease states (e.g., diabetes, hypertension) and social conditions (e.g., mis-education,food deserts) to demonstrate the overall design of this conceptual framework. I then go on to clearly and succinctly define the components of the model and discuss its use as a framework for the evaluation and analysis of community-based settings and efforts to address inequities and disparities. This social disruption model addresses the root causes and factors which initiate and perpetuate the emergence of social injustice, disparities and inequities. Further, it offers perspectives on the formulation and design of future community-based intervention models that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe community-based factors which, with the passage of time, are the largest contributers to poor overall health care outcomes Explain a new theory related to community stability and disruptive states within community-based settings Identify and Assess the community-based factors and root causes of greatest relevance to the creation of equity for African diaspora with the United States Discuss and begin to formulate suggested solutions to the factors and root causes which continue to initiate and perpetuate inequities and disparities for the African diaspora in the United States

Keyword(s): Social Inequalities, Social Activism

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I addition to being a physician and professor of public health, I have an extensive background in issues related to public health, homeland security and defense and military service as a career officer. I have worked extensively on the subject matter which I intend to present and will be introducing some original concepts, to be published in the near future. I have published scientific articles and contributed to books related to the subject matter area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.