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Course Catalog

410.611.01 Health, Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S.

Health Behavior and Society
2nd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2012 - 2013
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Carol Underwood
Course Instructor:

Explores the relationship between health, poverty, and public policy in the U.S. and assesses past and future strategies to remedy inequities in health and health care. Addresses theories of social stratification in the U.S.; distribution of poverty across gender, age, and ethnic/racial groups; antipoverty programs and their effects; effects of changes in health care organization on the poor; and possible modifications to provide greater equity. Guest lecturers include physicians and public administrators working in programs designed to meet the needs of poor communities.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. explain different definitions of poverty and how each definition impacts public policy
  2. understand current social science and public health approaches to poverty
  3. critique/appraise historical strategies and programs undertaken to address the health care problems of the poor
  4. describe how poverty and health status are related to one another in the U.S.
  5. identify specific populations of Americans at risk of poverty and understand why they are specifically at risk
  6. evaluate the public policy options currently available for improving the health of the poor
Methods of Assessment:

Student evaluation based on class participation, a mid-term take-home assignment, and a final paper.

Enrollment Restriction:

Instructor consent required for undergraduate students

Instructor Consent:

No consent required