Pandemics, Immigrant Health and Health Disparity


INSTRUCTOR: Melissa Howard


SCHEDULE: Wednesday 3:00PM – 4:15PM

Course Description

This multidisciplinary course is led by Dr. Melissa Howard. This course has a global scope but will particularly focus on the influence of pandemics on immigrant population and health disparities. Particular emphasis will be given to public health policy, economics, communication, health promotion and human behavior. Students will develop the skills necessary to assess the risk of pandemics in different scenarios and the ability to identify research gaps in the literature and discuss adaptation strategies for specific topics discussed in cases studies.

This course will first present the fundamental factors associated with pandemics, their causes and what is the science of pandemics in general. Secondly, it will cover the impact of climatic change factors that impact migration and pandemics among populations social and behavioral health; particularly: a) chronic illness such as HIV, b) draught and deforestation caused aeroallergens and lung diseases, c) vector borne diseases such as Zika and Dengue, d) foodborne diseases, such as gastrointestinal bacterial infections, e) water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, e) and g) natural disasters. The course will consist of a seminar style course conducted by various guest lecturers from agencies and university’s departments in addition to community partners and international guests who work in the areas of public health and social behavioral issues.

In the second semester, students will select a pandemic of their choice and using the knowledge from the first semester they will analyze and it. Students will analyze the pandemic and prepare a concept paper and deliver a presentation on an intervention approach. The course will also offer the opportunity for the students to gain skills to identify, analyze and learn about the interconnection of pandemics and its socio-behavioral public health effect.

Students will learn to:

  • Examine and recognize the importance of immigration and social changes in the context of global health
  • Conduct multiperspective analysis of local, international and global issues related to epidemics and migration
  • Identify the correlation between pandemics and immigration in the United States and internationally
  • Understand the link between epidemics and health disparity in the US
  • Identify epidemics and their national and global effect on populations