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Crisis Response in Public Health Practice: International Perspectives

Barcelona, Spain
2nd term
Health Policy and Management
2 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Mon 11/27/2017 - Tue 11/28/2017
Class Times:
  • M Tu,  8:30am - 6:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor :
Judith Holzer
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Firefighters battle fires; police officers fight crime. Public health officials capture the public’s attention during crises, such as infectious disease outbreaks, panic over tainted food or other household products, weather-related disasters, and high profile disputes with regulated industries. This course brings the concept of crisis to center stage in order to prepare future and current public health officials for crisis. Note, this is not a course in emergency preparedness or disaster planning.

Examines crises from the point of view of an agency leader responsible for designing and implementing an effective response while maintaining credibility and securing long-term policy change. Discusses recent crises including: global response to Ebola and Zika, responses to regulatory failures, foodborne outbreaks, and vaccine controversies. Offers students an opportunity to apply their knowledge by proposing a crisis response plan for a public health agency

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the central role of crises in the work of public health agencies
  2. Assess the credibility of a public health agency's work during a crisis
  3. Analyze key elements of effective and ineffective day-to-day responses to crises at the local, state, national, and global levels – including public communication and language, management, planning, and politics
  4. Articulate how public health leaders can manage existing crises effectively to win significant, long-term policy advances
Methods of Assessment:

class participation (20%); group case-study presentation at the end of the 2nd day (30%); crisis response plan/final paper (50%)

Enrollment Restriction:

undergraduate and interdivisional students are not permitted in this section

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Full-time JHU students must obtain permission to register from Judy Holzer in HPM.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

This course will be offered for 2 days in Barcelona. Students must physically be in Barcelona to participate. Students are required to complete readings prior to the start of the course. The final paper (crisis response plan) will be due on Dec 19, 2017.