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Understanding the Nation's Health

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

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Course Description

What is Public Health? Public health is the latest buzz word in America and encompasses efforts to improve the health of specific populations through education and advocacy. In this one-week course, students will develop an overall understanding of public health. The course will culminate with an opportunity for students to work collaboratively and use their new skills to solve epidemiologic mysteries as they act as Disease Detectives.

From universal health care to mandated health insurance coverage, students will examine the dichotomy between individual health and public health. Newspaper articles and sound bytes will challenge students to read and think critically to evaluate media messages about health. Through discussions, readings, and in-class exercises, students will explore epidemiologic methods to gain a better understanding of how researchers identify disease and develop solutions to public health problems. Case studies and specific examples will provide the basis for students to analyze, research, and critique health articles and studies. Students will be introduced to the work and decision-making process of government and non-governmental organizations in the field of public health, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This course will also provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn about future career paths in public health.

At the conclusion of this course, students will have new skills in epidemiology, the ability to critically read and interpret health literature, and experience writing about public health issues. This course is especially suited for students interested in careers in public health, social sciences, or medicine and for students who want to be informed consumers of health information.

There are no prerequisites for this course, but a strong interest or some background in the subject material is expected.

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