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© 2017 by Dr. Rachel Hardeman

PuBH 7200 Axes of Inequity: Exploring the Root Causes of Health Disparities Through Social Policy 

 

Health disparities will be eliminated when health equity is achieved. Achieving health equity requires dismantling systems of structured inequity and putting in their place systems in which all people can develop to their full potential. In order to do this, a clear understanding of the axes of inequality is necessary. The main objectives of this course will be to: (1) identify and describe the axes of inequity (e.g. socioeconomics, income distribution, race, etc); (2) demonstrate the link between these axes and health disparities; (3) trace the impact of social policy on the axes of inequality and health disparities. Knowing, for example, that income is associated with positive outcomes does not assure that giving people more income will improve their health status. Effective social policy requires a detailed understanding of the dynamics through which these outcomes occur.

PuBH 6700 Foundations of Public Health

 

Public health draws vision, goals, and inspiration from its mission of “fulfilling society’s interest in assuring the conditions in which people can be healthy.” (Institute of Medicine, Future of Public Health, 1988) National, state, and local public health goals flow from this mission to accomplish the core functions of assessment, policy development and assurance and to deliver essential services. Public health strives to make people’s lives healthier and better.

In this course, we will examine the history, values, contexts, principles, frameworks, and organization of delivery systems that are a foundation for public health administration and practice. We will focus on the administrative processes and strategies that drive and support achieving results efficiently, effectively, and responsively. We will explore policy and programming challenges and opportunities in strategic public health issues. Grounded in theory and concepts, we will incorporate the core competencies and skills for public health professionals and focus on developing the problem solving and decision-making skills through case studies and debates. 

PuBH 6835 Principles of Health Policy

 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the policy environment that influences and shapes public health and the provision of health care services, to enhance understanding of the historical and political context of health policy, to develop strategies for analysis of health policy issues, and to communicate effectively in the policy environment. Through lectures, readings, collaborative debate and discussion, oral presentation, and written work, students will develop the background and skills to approach a range of problems in the interdisciplinary field of public health, where the major policy issues are constantly evolving. As a result, this course aims to convey not just specific facts, but to help students develop the ability and confidence to critically assess current health policy issues in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and rigorous manner and to engage in the policy process. While the course content focuses on the U.S. health care environment, policy analytic and communication skills are presented in a way that is transferrable to other contexts.

The goal of the course is to teach the following specific professional skills:

1. Familiarity with the legislative aspects of the health policy process

2. Effective written, oral, and/or in-person communication with a legislator about a public health policy issue

3. Experience defining a public health policy problem and diagnosing the political nature of the problem

4. Writing an issue brief to communicate the magnitude, significance, and urgency of a policy problem to a policy audience

5. Preparing and giving an elevator speech to demonstrate persuasive speaking within time constraints

6. Writing and submitting an Op/Ed with an appropriately targeted policy message, using news media, for a lay audience

7. Writingapolicyproposalthatanalyzespotentialsolutionstocomplexhealthpolicychallengesand presents a clearly-justified, feasible and appropriate recommendation to a policy audience 

PuBH 6724 The Health Care System and Public Health (Prof. Lynn Blewett, PhD), Fall 2009, 2010, 2011

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the U.S. health care finance and delivery systems within a public health context. To be effective practitioners, public health professionals must be able to link the theory of individual and social determinants of health status and outcomes with the changing structures and organizations of the U.S. health care systems. This course will teach the basic components of the U.S. health care systems, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. The history and development of U.S. health care systems;

  2. The role issues of ethics and social justice play in making health care decisions;

  3. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;

  4. Financing;

  5. The role of public programs (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid), insurers, and employers;

  6. Health care delivery systems (e.g., Primary Care, Outpatient and Inpatient services);

  7. Integrated and managed care;

  8. Long-term health care;

  9. Health care delivery to special populations; 

  10. The nature and scope of disparities within the U.S. health care systems; 11. The future of U.S. health care systems