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Public Health & Philanthropy Lexicon

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incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals — terms used to describe individuals who are in, or have been released from, prisons, jails or juvenile detention centers. These terms are used only when deemed necessary to a story or news item. Cal Wellness does not use terms such as “inmates,” “convicts,” “criminals,” “felons” or any words with the prefix “ex-,” such as “ex-convicts” or “ex-felons.” Also see returning citizens.

incidence — in epidemiology, the number of cases of disease, infection or some other event having its onset during a prescribed period of time in relation to the unit of population in which it occurs. Incidence measures morbidity or other events as they happen over a period of time. Examples include the number of accidents occurring in a manufacturing plant during a year in relation to the number of employees in the plant, or the number of cases of mumps occurring in a school during a month in relation to the number of pupils enrolled in the school. It usually refers only to the number of new cases, particularly of chronic diseases.

income supports — financial benefits, other than paychecks, provided by the government or employers. Income supports can include cash assistance, food stamps, energy and utility assistance, tax credits, workers’ compensation, health insurance, disability insurance, child care assistance, pensions, and family and medical leave.

indemnity — a type of insurance contract that provides health insurance benefits in the form of cash payments rather than services. An indemnity insurance contract usually defines the maximum amounts that will be paid for covered services.

indigent care — health services provided to people who are unable to pay. Since many indigent patients are not eligible for federal or state programs, the costs that are covered by Medicaid are generally recorded separately from indigent care costs.

inpatient — a person who has been admitted at least overnight to a hospital or other health facility (which is therefore responsible for his/her room and board) for the purpose of receiving diagnostic treatment or other health services.

institutional change — organizational change that has been documented extensively over years, outlining the stages of change. Institutional change is often used as a model to promote the success of students of color in the health professions.

institutional health services — health services delivered on an inpatient basis in hospitals, nursing homes or other inpatient institutions. The term may also refer to services delivered on an outpatient basis by departments or other organizational units of, or sponsored by, such institutions.

instrumental activities of daily living — an index or scale that measures a patient's degree of independence in aspects of cognitive and social functioning including shopping, cooking, doing housework, managing money and using the telephone.

international medical graduate — a physician who graduated from a medical school outside of the United States. U.S. citizens who go to medical school abroad are classified as international medical graduates just as are foreign-born persons who were not trained in a medical school in this country. U.S. citizens represent only a small portion of this group.

intervention strategy — a generic term used in public health to describe a program or policy designed to have an impact on an illness or disease. For example, a mandatory seat belt law is an intervention designed to reduce automobile-related fatalities.

license/licensure — a permission granted to an individual or organization by a competent authority, usually public, to engage lawfully in a practice, occupation or activity. Licensure is the process by which the license is granted. A license is usually granted on the basis of examination and/or proof of education rather than on measures of performance. A license is usually permanent but may be conditioned on annual payment of a fee, proof of continuing education or proof of competence.

life skills — personal skills needed to pursue health and wellness, such as effective communication, anger management, stress management, coping techniques, goal setting, obtaining and maintaining employment, budgeting and creating healthy social relationships and supports.

limited-service hospital — a hospital, often located in a rural area, that provides a limited set of medical and surgical services.

long-term care — care given to patients over an extended period of time, usually in nursing homes or another type of institutional care.

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