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An upside-down person walks on their hands down cement steps while a diverse collection of people sitting on the steps look on and take photos.
Figure 5.1 Immigration and naturalization partly drive changing demographics. Other factors include the aging population, regional and national employment trends, and changes in healthcare. (credit: modification of work "Naturalization Ceremony" by Utah Reps/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Michael is a public health nurse who works at a free clinic in the community where he grew up and still lives. The community Michael’s clinic serves includes a large immigrant population as well as a high percentage of older adults. A consortium of local clinics in Michael’s area recently received a grant from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)—which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—to work toward increasing the number of minorities who receive care at these local clinics. As a participant in the consortium, Michael prepared a flyer about the free clinic. The clinic has been recruiting nurses that represent minority ethnic groups in the community, so Michael included photos of the diverse staff to help increase trust in the clinic’s health care. As a public health nurse, Michael has the opportunity to improve access to health care and nutrition resources for his community.

This chapter will discuss demographic shifts in the United States and the unique opportunities they present to advance technology and to improve policy, consumer behavior, and the health care workforce.

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