Public Health Core
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SPH PH 510: Essentials of Public Health
Students will gain an understanding of public health as a broad, collective enterprise that seeks to extend the benefits of current biomedical, environmental, social, and behavioral knowledge in ways that maximize its impact on the health status of a population. The course will provide an overview of the public health approach including epidemiology, understanding the social determinants of health, and prevention. Through active learning, students will learn skills in identifying and addressing an ever expanding list of health problems that call for collective action to protect, promote and improve our nation's health, primarily through preventive strategies. Specific topics will include: food safety, HIV/AIDS, vaccines, and tobacco control and prevention. PH510 is a requirement for obtaining an undergraduate minor in public health. It is appropriate for undergraduates and others who are not in an SPH degree program. It does not carry degree credit for MPH students.
SPH PH 511: Pathogens, Poverty, and Populations: An Introduction to Global Health
Undergraduate Prerequisites: Not for SPH graduate credit. Students who take PH511 may not take IH703 for MPH degree credit.
Graduate Prerequisites: Students who complete PH511 may not take SPH IH703 for MPH degree credit.
This course will introduce students to issues of public health importance in developing countries. For each disease or public health problem considered, the class will explore its epidemiology, natural history, risk factors and contributing causes, and responses of the public health community at local, national, regional, and international levels. The course includes six sections: Core Concepts, Child Health and Nutrition, Infectious Diseases, Women?s Health and HIV/AIDS, Chronic and Non-communicable Diseases, and Concluding Sessions. PH511 is appropriate for undergraduates and others who are not in an SPH degree program. Students who complete PH511 as undergraduates should not also take IH703.
SPH PH 712: Public Health Response to Emergencies in the United States
This course provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the public health impacts and roles during emergencies and disasters in the United States. The course will use two recent cases, 2013 Boston marathon bombing and 2009-2010 pandemic flu, to explore the persons, events, decisions, policies, and systems involved in each of the events. Students will apply emergency preparedness skills to analyze preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations and to communicate risk effectively. Students will consider the question that plagues governmental authorities and residents alike: ARE WE READY? In the end, students will possess a command over how the public health system can provide essential services and support healthy communities during times of emergency. This is accomplished through a combination of case studies, panel discussions, team activities, tours, and exercises.
SPH PH 717: Quantitative Methods for Public Health
Public health is, at its core, an evidence-based discipline. Evaluating relevant evidence to understand the distribution and determinants of disease across the population and to identify and engage in prevention activities requires the collection, analysis and communication of quantitative information. In this course, students will learn fundamental quantitative skills to evaluate data and make evidence-based decisions as a public health professional. This course will provide students with core training in the conduct and design of epidemiologic studies, basic biostatistical analyses and the use of biostatistical software, and foundational knowledge of exposure and outcome assessment.
SPH PH 718: Leadership and Management for Public Health
Public health professionals rarely work alone to make anything happen. Thus, the goal of this course is to develop your ability to be a change agent for public health by furthering your abilities to communicate with, engage, and organize others in the pursuit of specific projects and change efforts. While you may not immediately hold a formal leadership position, you can always "lead from where you are" and/or informally by understanding how to effectively and ethically work with others both within and beyond your particular organizational home, and manage processes to achieve specific objectives, in order to advance the health issues that you care about.
SPH PH 719: Health Systems, Law, and Policy
This is a course about who gets what health services, when and how. Policies and laws governing what services are available and on what terms strongly influence health status at both the individual and population levels. This course examines the Constitutional, regulatory, political and socio-economic bases for the policies that determine access, quality, cost and equity in health services and population health programs. While the focus is principally on US examples, the course is structured on the World Health Organization's framework for organizing and analyzing national health systems, covering governance, financing, delivery systems, workforce, and human and other resources. The course combines intensive individual preparation for each class using both written and video materials, interactive class presentations and hands-on individual and group projects in laboratory sessions.
SPH PH 720: Individual, Community, and Population Health
This course is intended to provide students with a foundation for future coursework in program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. It assumes little prior knowledge of determinants of health, and various ways of addressing health problems. It aims to help give students an appreciation of health and the determinants of health at multiple levels in order to gain knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively to improve the health of individuals, communities, and populations.
SPH PH 729: Social Network Analysis for Public Health Research
The overall goal of the course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the basic concepts and measures used to describe and analyze social networks and the ability to understand the results and implications of this body of research. Social network analysis applies graph theory to characterize relationships between networked entities (i.e., people, groups, places, organizations, and/or other units). Social network analysis is used to understand how these relations influence attitudes, beliefs, behaviors; diffusion of ideas and behaviors; the spread of infectious diseases; human mobility patterns; communication and collaborative networks; social media networks; and biological systems, among other things. Although social network analysis has a long history of use in sociology, it is also commonly used in many other scientific disciplines, including anthropology, business, communication, computer science, economics, education, marketing, medicine, public health, political science, psychology, and many others. Within public health, network analysis is commonly applied to the study of social media networks, friendship networks among adolescents, citation and co-authorship networks, road networks, disease transmission networks, risk potential networks (i.e., networks with the potential for disease transmission), networks of gangs or terrorists, global trade networks, genome-wide association networks, phylogenetic networks (i.e., putatively linked infections based on viral sequence similarities), etc. For example, social network analysis can be used to understand the epidemiology of infectious diseases, inform vaccination and quarantine strategies during outbreaks, develop peer-driven interventions to change behavioral norms, employ the use of peer health navigators to find individuals who have dropped out of care and connect them with services, identify new infections via contact tracing, study diffusion of innovations, inform organizational improvements, or develop strategies to provide more coordinated health care services. This course consists of class lectures, group discussions, student presentations, labs, reading materials, and problem sets. Of note, problem sets will include additional higher-level thinking questions which will be mandatory for PhD students and optional for all others taking the class. Data analyses will be conducted using Stata, UCINET and Netdraw software packages.
SPH PH 731: Analytic Methods and Management Strategies for Public Health Decision Making
Analytical Methods and Management Strategies for Public Health Decision Making provides students with an overview of key analytical approaches often used in decision making both in environmental and other public health settings, along with the related management strategies. This includes topics such as cost- effectiveness analysis, alternative approaches to assign values to health outcomes, decision theory, risk assessment/management, health impact assessment, alternatives assessment, and sustainability analysis.
SPH PH 737: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Public Health Decision Making
This course is an introductory level mapping class for a novice Geographic Information Systems (GIS) user, applicable to all public health fields. Topics covered include development of geographical datasets (local, national and global), basic mapping and data analysis, and geographical data presentation. A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to computer lab sessions. The course will use ArcGIS software.
SPH PH 739: Foundations of Infectious Disease for Public Health
This is a foundational course in infectious diseases for students pursuing a career in public health practice that involves working to control, prevent, eliminate, and/or eradicate these diseases. In the first week of class, students learn basic principles of infectious disease causation and spread. In subsequent weeks, they apply those principles to analyze how agent, host, and environmental (physical, social, behavioral, cultural, economic, political) factors impact the transmission and clinical course of infection, and contribute to the susceptibility and vulnerability of individuals and populations. Students then use this information to analyze the effectiveness of key public health infectious disease control and prevention strategies, and to identify and propose their own intervention strategies. Through a combination of active learning and problem solving, students recognize that addressing infectious disease problems requires consideration of not only the natural history of a disease, but also policy-based decision making, resources and economics, and the ecological, social behavioral and cultural context of disease settings. They learn that designing and implementing contextually appropriate and effective infectious disease control and prevention interventions requires a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial, One Health, approach.
SPH PH 740: Pharmaceuticals in Public Health: An Introductory Course
Graduate Prerequisites: Recommended: EP713 and MPH core course in health policy and management
This course provides the students with an overview of the role of pharmaceuticals in public health and the basic functions of the pharmaceutical sector in terms of stakeholders,regulations, policies and evaluation. In addition the course has the objective to introduce the students to the pharmaceutical program and provide them with basic knowledge that is necessary to enter other courses. By the end of the course the students will be able to discuss the relevance of pharmaceuticals for public health, identify relevant actors in the pharmaceutical sector and their functions, to identify problems within the pharmaceutical sector that lead to inequity and inefficiencies and the proposal strategies to overcome these problems.
SPH PH 746: Career P.R.E.P.
This career development course is made up of 6 sessions, each 90 minutes long, designed to give you the tools and techniques to effectively market yourself during the job search process and advance in your career. It will also enable you to research potential career options and to manage your job searches and careers as proactively and effectively as possible.
SPH PH 757: Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are a leading threat to the health of the population. In this course, students will set out to ascertain the background and significance of major chronic diseases affecting population health, and evaluate intervention efforts targeting chronic disease prevention and its long term management. Controversies in current chronic disease prevention efforts will be analyzed. Students are expected to gain skills directly relevant for the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions directed towards chronic disease prevention and management.
SPH PH 780: Chronic Disease: A Public Health Perspective
Graduate Prerequisites: Successful completion of the MPH integrated core courses or permission of the instructor
This is the foundational course for the certificate in chronic and non-communicable disease (chronic/NCD). Chronic and non-communicable diseases (Chronic/NCD) are responsible for a large majority of the deaths in the United States and a rapidly rising share of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to their effect on mortality, these conditions have an enormous impact on disability, quality of life, health care costs, and lost productivity, and are also a major contributor to health disparities. The course provides students with an overview of the public health approach toward chronic/NCD across the continuum of identification of causes, implementation and evaluation of strategies for prevention, and treatment and management of disease to reduce mortality and improve quality of life. Through readings, lectures, in-class exercises, and group work, the course provides a foundation for students to further develop their knowledge and skills in subsequent courses toward their certficate.
SPH PH 801: Community Engaged Research: Theory, Methods, and Applications
This course provides an overview of theory and methods for working with communities to conduct research that informs public health practice and policy. Through a combination of lectures, discussion, case-studies, and interaction with practitioners, we will explore the history of research in community settings; theoretical, ethical, and methodological considerations for engaging non-scientists in research; the role of particular communities of interest in transforming research funding and infrastructure; and specific examples from local research initiatives. The course also trains students in the necessary skills to form a research question, work with communities to form research questions, identify appropriate research methods in response to such questions, to write a proposal to conduct community engaged research.
SPH PH 820: Capstone Course in Chronic and Non-communicable Diseases
This course examines key issues related to chronic and non-communicable diseases. Through the course, students learn to select and apply frameworks and concepts learned throughout their coursework to identify public health solutions to issues of chronic and non-communicable disease determinants, prevention, treatment, management, and financing.
SPH PH 825: Analysis of Emerging Infections Using the One Health Approach
Graduate Prerequisites: EP755 (ID Epi), PH739 (ID Foundations), or consent of instructors.
This class employs One Health, an approach to public health emphasizing the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment, to provide a basic understanding of factors involved in the natural history of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), and of approaches required for the control and prevention of these diseases. The number of reported EIDs has been steadily increased over past decades and while the global burden of individual diseases is often minimal, historically, some EIDs (e.g., HIV, influenza, chikungunya, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)) have had enormous global public health impact, and local impacts can often be quite severe, particularly in developing settings (e.g., Ebola in West Africa). The majority of EIDs are vector-borne and/or zoonotic, and a wide range of social, behavioral, and physical environmental factors contribute to their emergence, making the One Health approach crucial to understanding these diseases. In this class, case study of specific EIDs is used to illustrate the involvement of multiple factors in disease emergence and spread. Emphasis is placed on understanding the natural history and pathogenesis of these EIDs, and the laboratory methods commonly used for their diagnosis and surveillance. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to apply the principles they have learned to analyze and determine the factors involved in the new emergence or re-emergence of an infectious disease; knowledge which is ultimately essential for determining appropriate disease control and prevention strategies.
SPH PH 842: Research Theory and Design
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH BS704 or EP713 or the equivalent as determined by the isntructor
This course focuses on the philosophy of science and the practice of research in public health. It compares and contrasts different approaches to scholarship and examines what makes some research interesting and important. The course will focus on developing research questions, objectives and aims in the context of what is already known/not known about an area of study. Students will develop the background and specific aims sections for a research proposal by the end of the course.
SPH PH 843: Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Public Health and Health Services Research
Graduate Prerequisites: For MS or Doctoral students who have completed BS704, EP713, PH842, and BS720 or equivalent
Through this course, doctoral students and advanced masters students will build their skills and intuition to use statistical methods to conduct public health and health services research. Rather than providing a menu of options for statistical analysis, the course will emphasize key concepts that unify different approaches, using linear regression as a case study in statistical and causal inference. The course will cover critical sources of bias in estimating point parameters and standard errors, including: confounding, measurement error, missing data, and correlated and heteroskedastic errors. The instructional model for the course will be the integration of lectures, in-class and at-home simulation exercises in R, critique of existing studies, and analysis of real data. Students completing this course will have built the intuition and gained the hands-on-experience needed to implement regression-based analyses in their own future work; to take higher level courses in statistical analysis and study design successfully; and to engage with the quantitative literature in public health and health services research with a critical eye.