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Public and Community Health
(HTH 240 3.0 Cr)

Health Services

Course Description

Today's public health professionals have an unprecedented number of scientific studies, strategies, tools and technologies at their disposal. Public awareness of the field's contributions is higher than ever before. However, contemporary public health organizations face the daunting task of addressing enduring public health problems, crises like AIDS, and emerging issues -- all at the same time. Funding for public health programs is frequently under attack and practitioners must allocate shrinking budgets across a growing number of complex and competing priorities. Furthermore, public health functions are performed by a fragmented and sometimes inefficient web of agencies, advocacy groups, and care providers at the federal, state, and local levels.

Using this shifting landscape as a backdrop, this course introduces students to the fundamentals of public health practice. It will prepare students to perform key public health functions in federal, state, and community organizations; evaluate the legal, ethical, and historical bases for public health; and critique and construct strategies for responding to public health problems.

Learning Objectives
After completing this course, students will be able to:

• Create an argument for or against a given public health program based on their understanding of the mission, core functions, legal requirements, and ethics of public health practice
• Analyze the causes and social costs of a public health problem based on contemporary theories and beliefs about the determinants of health
• Describe the roles and responsibilities of public health organizations at the federal, state, and local levels
• Develop a strategy for conducting a public health assessment for a local community, including appropriate tools and data sources
• Recommend an appropriate leadership style for a given public health initiative
• Predict the outcome of a public health intervention or service based on current theory and practice
• Create a profile of a future public health department based on current patterns and trends

Breadth of Assignments
This course uses a variety of assignment types in exploring the topics of Public and Community Health including reading assignments, both online and textbook based, group discussions, case study assignments using an online simulated community, individual writing and research assignments, self-tests, and a course-long project with peer review.

Required Resources
Scutchfield, F., and Keck, W. (2002). Principles of Public Health Practice, 2nd Ed. Albany, New York: Delmar Publishers. ISBN 0-7668-2843-3

Introduction to Public and Community Health
Health Services
Module/Topics

Module 1: The Foundations of Public Health Practice
• Creating an argument for or against a given public health program based on your understanding of the mission, core functions, and ethics of public health practice
• The rights, restrictions, and practices of a public health department in light of public health history and law
• The causes and social costs of a disease or condition based on contemporary theories and beliefs about the determinants of health (including physical, biological, behavioral, social, cultural, and spiritual factors)

Module 2: Public Health Organizations
• The roles and responsibilities of public health organizations at the federal, state, and local levels
• Creating an annotated list of links to web sites that are useful for public health practitioners
• Analyzing the areas of interdependency and fragmentation in the delivery of public health services

Module 3: Public Health Tools and Techniques
• The United States' progress toward national public health objectives using information in Healthy People 2010
• Developing a strategy for conducting a public health assessment for a local community, including appropriate tools and data sources
• Recommending an appropriate leadership style for a given public health initiative

Module 4: Strategies for Public Health Interventions and Services
• Predicting the outcome of a public health intervention or service based on current theory and practice

Module 5: The Future of Public Health
• Creating a profile of a future public health department based on current patterns and trends


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