Maternal & Child Health
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SPH MC 705: Safer Sex in the City: from Science to Policy
Our knowledge of sex and sexuality is derived in large part from the sociocultural and religious context of our society and the specific community and families in which we have been raised. In this class we will use a variety of teaching methods to allow you to discover how much you really know about basic sexual health information, including current public health sexual health issues. Then you will acquire an understanding of the issues based on current thinking from the biologic and social sciences. After covering the basics of each topic, we will explore some of the contextual factors, such as history, culture, or economics that affect framing of the issues and discuss the direct public health ramifications. The course will also help you develop your skills in communication, debate, teaching, and podcasting about sexual health from a public health perspective.
SPH MC 725: Women, Children and Adolescents: A Public Health Approach
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of public health and maternal and child health. Using the life course perspective, the course examines how infants, children, women and families develop in the context of biologic and social determinants of health, as they play out over a lifetime and across generations. Selected current topics--such as asthma, adolescent pregnancy, infant mortality, and childhood obesity--are studied in depth and used to illustrate how problems are understood, their distribution in diverse populations, and the content and quality of programs required to address them. Throughout the course, special attention is given to the impact of poverty, poor access to health care, and racial inequalities on the health of families, as well as to the strengths that individuals and communities bring to the creation of solutions. By the end of the course students will be able to formulate an MCH-related public health question, conduct and write a literature review, and write a policy memo. MC725 is the first required course in the MCH sequence.
SPH MC 730: Leading to Face Challenges and Achieve Results in Public Health
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH720 or instructor permission.
MC 730 strengthens students to have the confidence and competence to lead to achieve results in public health. The course is an experiential learning process, ideal for public health professionals who aspire to be activists for change. Students work in teams to teach and learn leadership theories and practical exercises to motivate and mobilize groups. The course creates a safe space for exploration and experimentation of leadership practices. We work to create a climate in which all students are able to clarify and question their assumptions, and engage in dialogue with others. We have conversations where obstacles to leading for results in public health are identified and discussed. Students will practice leading, from whatever position they are in, to face the challenges of public health, including the challenges of social and racial justice.
SPH MC 750: Disability Justice Through the Life Course: Programs, Policies, and Turning Advocacy to Action
The course introduces students to issues related to the health and well-being of individuals living with disabilities across the life course, and to the health and social policies and multi-sectoral programs that impact their quality of life and the achievement of disability justice in the U.S. MC770 progresses from the examination of the legislative framework relevant to this population, to key controversies and conversations related to disability justice, and skills and strategies for advocacy and systems change. Throughout, the course covers diverse types of disabilities, intersectionality and disability identity, and how a deficit-based system of services for disabled people contributes to the inequities experienced by those living with disabilities.
SPH MC 759: Perinatal and Child Health Epidemiology
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH717 and PH720 or instructor permission.
Issues related to the perinatal period from the framework of epidemiologic methods will be examined in this course through critical review of epidemiologic studies and exploration of measurement, design and data. Key issues to be examined include maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, cesarean birth, preterm birth, breastfeeding and child development, with a special focus on disparities in these outcomes. Participants will review various sources of perinatal epidemiologic data, and will address classification issues and challenges in assessing pregnancy exposures and outcomes related to these data sources. The final course project involves working with fellow students on the development of a poster and an abstract for submission to a national research meeting based on an original analysis of a public database.
SPH MC 763: Maternal and Child Health Policy Making
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH719
This course explores the process by which U.S. national and state policymakers allocate resources to mothers and children. Beginning with an analysis of the evolution of U.S. maternal and child health (MCH) policy, it uses case studies of MCH issues such as paid family leave, maternal mortality, breast cancer and child vaccination to examine the special features of legislative, executive, administrative, and judicial policy making in MCH. The course examines how policy making in MCH has traditionally been characterized by the frequent use of mothers and children as political symbols rather than providing actual health benefits. This course is taught in seminar format with weekly readings and student-led discussion.
SPH MC 771: Topics in MCH
This course addresses new and emerging issues in the field of maternal and child health at an intermediate level. It is accessible to students of all concentrations and backgrounds. Topics vary each semester; for information regarding the current offerings, please refer to the print or web-based School of Public Health schedule.
SPH MC 775: Social Justice and the Health of Populations: Racism and other systems of oppression in America
Graduate Prerequisites: Core Curriculum or instructor permission.
The goal of this introductory course is for students to equip themselves with the fundamental knowledge base necessary to critically re-examine systemic sources of health inequities, and challenge traditional public health models of addressing them. The course is intended for students with little to no prior exposure to frameworks such as Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality Theory; or little to no personal/lived experience with systems of oppression (i.e. belonging to one or more historically oppressed groups). Students who feel that they already have strong foundational knowledge around systems of oppression and anti-oppressive public health practices and approaches are encouraged to take MC776: Advanced Practice and Research Methods for Public Health Equity. Please consult the instructor if you're unsure of which course to take.
SPH MC 776: Advanced Practice and Research Methods for Public Health Equity
Graduate Prerequisites: Core Curriculum and either MC775 or willingness to complete summer pre-course reading packet
This course prepares the more advanced student to conduct public health research and practice from an explicitly intersectional, racial/social justice-centered framework. Students will advance their skills in research methods as well as policy, program and institutional evaluation using a number of established frameworks and tools. Culminating projects will address key questions around systems of oppression and population patterns of health, and the capacity of programs, policies and organizations to disrupt or perpetuate health inequities.
SPH MC 783: Women and Substance Use
This course offers a window into the drivers, patterns, and consequences of substance use among women throughout the lifecourse. Through assessment of current evidence, reflection and discussion, application of multilevel theoretical frameworks, and engagement with practitioners and researchers, we will explore the complexity of sex and gender differences in substance use. We will review current trends in substance use among women, explore specific topics of public health significance (e.g., pregnancy, interpersonal relationships, infectious disease transmission, stigma, and disparities), contrast understandings of substance use acquired through quantitative and qualitative research methods, and critically evaluate prevention, harm reduction, and treatment approaches. This course will provide you with a deeper understanding of the significance and complexity of substance use and related issues among women
SPH MC 785: Reproductive Health Advocacy: From Rights to Justice
Graduate Prerequisites: None
This course prepares students to critically re-evaluate, strengthen, and argue their positions on matters related to the control of sex and reproduction. It allows student to focus on an array of issues related to women's fertility and its regulation and to use multiple frameworks--public health science, law, social history, religion and politics--to identify their values and frame and argue their positions for purposes of advocacy. The course begins with an overview of the social and political history of fertility control and current reproductive health services and policies. We then examine debates at the state and national levels in preparation for advocacy skill-building and practice, including a visit to the State House, interaction with a panel of advocacy organizations, participation in mock legislative hearings, and the writing of a fact sheet and op-ed article for a local or national newspaper. Students gain skills in critical analysis, argument, writing and presentation to government and lay audiences.
SPH MC 786: Immigrant and Refugee Health
This course focuses on low-income immigrants in the U.S. and applies a family and community health perspective to the study of their health and well-being. It begins with an overview of how political, economic, cultural factors at the global and local levels shape the migration patterns and health of immigrants and refugees. We then examine specific immigrant groups and health issues, with attention to interventions that engage community members in taking action. Students will gain critical skills in contextual analysis, community based participatory research, and project design.
SPH MC 795: The Health of Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH 717 or SPH EP 714 or SPH PH 720.
This course equips advanced undergraduates and Master's students from all departments and disciplines to examine the public health challenges presented by adolescents. The course begins with an introduction to adolescent development (i.e., in terms of biology, behavior, social roles, and psychology), and also reviews basic themes of public health (i.e., a public health approach, the social ecological framework). The course continues with in-depth review of the prevalence and causes of several key risk behaviors and health problems among adolescents, including: unintentional injury, sexual risk behaviors, suicide and mental health, obesity, multiple types of violence, and substance use. The course also reviews: health policy, school health, the role of the media on adolescent health, and issues in adolescent health research. Class sessions involve a variety of formats including small group work, lecture and discussion, activities, and debates.
SPH MC 800: Preventing Mental Health Disorders Among Women, Children, and Adolescents: A Life Course Perspective
The course will use a prevention framework to examine mental health interventions targeted to women, children, and youth. We will explore how events that occur during critical developmental periods - early childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy - can alter the life course of the individual and the family. Readings will focus on preventive interventions that target specific disorders, as well as those focused on addressing risk and protective factors common to many mental health problems. We will pay particular attention to how preventive interventions can be implemented and disseminated at a community level and integrated into primary care health care settings and major public health programs. The course will involve substantial group work; the majority will be done during formal class sessions. The class is approved for MCH and SB concentration credit.
SPH MC 802: Implementing Community Health Initiatives: A Field-based Course in Leadership and Consultation
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH720 or instructor permission.
This course is designed for public health students from diverse backgrounds who aspire to be effective leaders for change in community health settings. Students work in teams to define and address a specific challenge with partners in a community health center or organization. Course sessions engage students in learning and teaching key concepts, theories, and practices in management, leadership, and community partnership. Students apply tools to define a challenge, scan the environment, investigate evidence, define interests of key stakeholders, map organizational processes, align and mobilize constituents, synthesize findings, and communicate findings and recommendations to the client organization in a polished presentation and consultant report. Throughout the course, students learn to build strong teams, create breakthroughs when breakdowns occur, and assess themselves and others as team players. The course prepares students to act as collaborative consultants in real-world professional settings.
SPH MC 805: Perinatal and Child Health Services: From Evidence to Innovation and Implementation
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH720 or instructor permission.
Societies that create conditions for healthy families and communities and invest in effective health systems and services extending from the perinatal period through infancy and childhood reap the benefits of healthier women, children, and families. In this course, programs, services, and policies to the wider aim of improving birth outcomes and sustaining the health and well-being of mothers, fathers, and children (ages 0-11) in the U.S.Of course, the path to effective services and policies is not always clear, either because political priorities do not support the aim, the evidence about what works is incomplete, inadequate, or poorly communicated to policy-makers, or because the challenges of implementation are daunting. Throughout the course, we will integrate each of these perspectives (political, scientific, and practical) as we critically examine a wide array of perinatal and child health services and the policies (MCH and cross-sectoral) that under gird them. The life course perspective, with its integration of human development and the cumulative effects of the social determinants of health, will serve as a guiding theoretical framework for the course; and, in turn, the promotion of equity and elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in outcomes and services will be a key thread in all of our discussions and activities.
SPH MC 815: Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy: Practice in Global and Local Context
MC815 is the 4-credit practice-based version of MC785, with expanded content in the area of global SRH and LGBTQ-related fertility and family formation. This course prepares students to design, lead, or collaborate in advocacy efforts around matters of sex, reproduction, sexual identity, and gender expression as they relate to family creation in public life. MC815 uses case-based teaching and practice-based learning. During the course, students engage with an advocacy organization and participate in an ongoing campaign or produce a product relevant to a new initiative. Throughout the course, student assess their own values related to SRH, and draw on multiple disciplines --social history, law, medicine, politics, religion, and public health science--to critically examine SRH movements and debates as they have played out in the U.S. and globally over time. Students develop skills in critical analysis, argument, advocacy strategies, and writing and presentation to diverse audiences, including public officials, readers of social media and the popular press.
SPH MC 820: Managing Public Health Programs and Projects
During this course we will focus on developing skills in both program and project management using the basic tenants of management theory, implementation, budgeting, and quality improvement. The class emphasizes professional development through a team approach. Students will employ a group process to analyze an existing program or organization and create tailored deliverables for a real public health client. The class is run like a work environment with an expectation that each student will come prepared to be an active and responsible team member. A portion of class time will be allocated for team meetings, which will allow for the simulation of workplace practices including: agenda setting, meeting facilitation, workflow management, peer evaluation, and oral presentation. Individual skills will be developed through the use of teaching cases and homework assignments. The approach is interactive and student- centered, with a focus on individual growth as it relates to collective work Students are expected to have completed the Leadership and Management Core before taking MC820.
SPH MC 840: Women and Health Policy: Gender, Evidence, and Politics
Graduate Prerequisites: SPH PH720 or instructor permission.
This course provides an opportunity to link theory, experience, and policy- making in the field of women's health. Topics explored during the first half of the course include: what women in the U.S. need, want and receive with respect to health care services and preventive education; the role of women as health activists, consumers and providers; the meaning of gender, race, class, and culture in the provider-patient relationship; the assumptions and agendas that have shaped the field of women's health; and the implications of that history for policy-making today. During the second half of the course, case studies are used to consider whether or not the questions currently being asked in women's health are the right questions and whether or not resources are being directed appropriately. Topics examined in depth include mammography, lesbian health, hormone replacement therapy, physical disability, depression and aging. Students complete the course with sharpened skills for making arguments and promoting their ideas orally and in writing to audiences as diverse as legislators, the media, private foundations, public health policy-makers, and the general public. This class carries SB concentration credit.
SPH MC 845: Perinatal Health Services
Graduate Prerequisites: MC725
This seminar will focus on the contribution of perinatal health services and policies to improving birth outcomes and maternal well-being and reducing racial/ethnic disparities. This seminar will not address the identification of underlying causes or risks for poor birth outcomes, but rather the amelioration of known risks through organized public health programs and policies. A sample of current prenatal health initiatives will be examined, including the CDC's preconception and health care initiatives; comprehensive prenatal care (including home visiting) and centering pregnancy initiatives; community-based Healthy Start initiatives and collective impact models; the March of Dimes prematurity prevention campaign; intrapartum care interventions and models of maternity care; women's health and MCH life-course initiatives. The special emphasis of this course will be on the practical implementation and delivery of efficacious perinatal health services