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Principles of Public Health

Principles of Public Health introduces the major concepts and principles of public health and the determinants of health status in communities. Emphasizes the ecological model that focuses on the linkages and relationships among multiple natural and social determinants affecting health.

Sessions

Course at a Glance

About the Course

Principles of Public Health introduces the major concepts of public health and the determinants of health status in communities. The course emphasizes the ecological model that focuses on the linkages and relationships among multiple natural and social determinants affecting health. As a relative concept, the health of populations is assessed through comparisons of temporal, spatial, and demographic dimensions of disease burden. The goal of public health is to understand why and how different populations carry different kinds and amounts of disease burden, and to use that knowledge for improving health by preventing disease. 

Students in the course will explore successful examples in public health, including how scientific discoveries and regulatory policies have both contributed to mitigate risk factors and improve health outcomes. How socioeconomic and cultural factors modify the effectiveness of risk intervention and disease prevention strategies. How individual actions and collective initiatives play important roles in determining the status of health. In addition, how the various methodological approaches that guide discoveries in public health have been applied from the local scale to the global level.

Course Syllabus

Week One: What is Public Health?
Week Two: The Role of Data in Public Health
Week Three: The Biomedical Basis of Public Health
Week Four : Do People Choose Their Own Health?
Week Five:  The Future of Public Health

Recommended Background

Proficiency through college preparatory high school curriculum including two years of biology, a combination of natural science courses including one year each of mathematics and chemistry, and courses in health science and social sciences are recommended.

Suggested Readings

Introduction to Public HealthMary-Jane Schneider, 3rd edition, 2011, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 40 Tall Pine Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776, ISBN: 0-7637-6381-0 www.jbpub.com

Public Health - Career Choices That Make a Difference, Bernard J. Turnock, 2006 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 40 Tall Pine Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776, ISBN - 13: 978-0-7637-3790-0

Additional Resources and Reading Resources:
The American Journal of Public Health www.ajph.org
The Nation's Health www.thenationshealth.org
World Federation of Public Health Associations www.wfpha.org
World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) www.unicef.org
Global Health Council www.globalhealth.org
African Council for Sustainable Health Development (ACOSHED) www.acoshed.net
Association of Schools of Public Health www.asph.org
Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region www.aspher.org
Latin American and Caribbean Association of Education in Public Health www.alaesp.sld.cu/html/informe.htm
Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health www.apacph.org
Public Health archives:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/tocrender.fcgi?journal=333&action=archive
Journals in Public Health:
http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org
http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/
http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/reports/mfr1.dtl

Course Format

The course consists of video presentations, peer interactions, opportunities for discussion of public health topics, and a peer-assessed research paper prepared as a screencast.

FAQ

  • Will I get a certificate after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate from Coursera.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    The video lectures, discussion prompts, and downloadable  slides are all available from this course. The textbooks must be purchased, although there are many journals and data sources that are freely available.