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Course Catalog


Department: Extradepartmental
Term: Winter I term
Credits: 4 credits
Contact: Robert Lawrence
Academic Year: 2014 - 2015
Course Instructors:

Uses divergent public health issues to illustrate a systematic problem solving process for use in addressing public health problems. The problem solving process includes defining the problem, measuring its magnitude, understanding the key determinants, developing a conceptual framework of the relationships between the key determinants, identifying and developing intervention and prevention strategies (either interventions or policies), setting priorities among intervention options, understanding barriers to implementation and evaluation, and developing an effective communication strategy. Consists of lectures, discussions, small-group exercises, a group project, and individual assignments.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Analyze a public health problem and evaluate intervention/policy alternatives using the problem solving methodology outlined above
Compare and contrast the utility of the methodology to solve public health problems that emerge at different periods in the life cycle and in different cultures, including: HIV/AIDS, childhood immunization, radioactive iodine exposure and thyroid cancer,
Carry out a group project under the guidance of a Teaching Assistant (TA), in which student groups will research a specific public health problem, prepare a written report and present their recommendations to the class following the problem-solving method
Recognize the complexity of policy development, including a discussion of the politics of public health issues, the roles of interest groups and stakeholders, and the laws and social values that must be woven into successful policies
Integrate human rights and ethical principles into the analysis of public health problems and recommended strategies
Recognize the critical role of communication in public health practice
Work together in multi-disciplinary groups that model the way public health agencies conduct problem-solving activities
Demonstrate critical and analytical thinking by preparing three individual products (a self-assessment of the process, an individual critique of a paper submitted by another group, and a health and human rights assessment)

Methods of Assessment: Student evaluation is based on class participation, group performance, a final group report and presentation, and individual written assignments (some of which are due within one week of course completion).
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Monday 8:30 - 11:50
  • Tuesday 8:30 - 11:50
  • Wednesday 8:30 - 11:50
  • Thursday 8:30 - 11:50
  • Friday 8:30 - 11:50
Lab Times:
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (1)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (2)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (3)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (4)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (5)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (6)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (7)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (8)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (9)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (10)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (11)
  • M Tu W Th F 8:30 - 11:50 (12)
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Enrollment Restriction: Restricted to Part-Time MPH Students and Training Certificate Students
Instructor Consent: No consent required
Auditors Allowed: Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Jointly Offered With:
Special Comments: Some coursework is completed in the weeks following the 2-week session in January.