Bridging the Distance Between Us: A Practical, Multidisciplinary Introduction to Public Health and Health Disparities


INSTRUCTOR: Melissa Ward

SECTION: Summer B (Fully-Online) – RVEB


Course Description

This one-semester course is designed for students with a general interest in social justice, as well as those pursuing careers in public health, public policy, public service, medicine, nursing, and other health professions. The course will include an examination of the foundations of public health, including policy, epidemiology, and a brief introduction to biostatistics. Lectures will include discussions of the various influences on public health, including social determinants (such as race and socioeconomic status) and the environment, with a particular focus on health disparities. The class will also examine the ways in which public health and health disparities are experienced, and how those experiences are expressed through literature, film, and music. The course will conclude by exploring ways to make public health happen, including sessions on research ethics, health communication strategies, advocacy, program implementation, and sustainability. Topical lectures on issues such as women’s health, adolescent health, chronic and infectious diseases, global health, and disaster preparedness will be integrated throughout the course, and students will be required to put together a plan for a service learning project in the local community.