Undergraduate PH 105 – Introduction to the US Healthcare System This course provides students with an overview of the US Health Care system. We will start by discussing the development of the US health system, how it is currently organized and the challenges faced in California and in the greater US. We will focus on describing how the major providers and funders of health care work together, where problems or gaps arise, how previous attempts to improve coverage and access to health care have worked, and how the new health care reforms are likely to change the way health care is delivered and financed. In doing so, we review the different approaches for providing health care as seen in other countries, the challenges that these countries face and how these health care systems compare to the US system. Some of the key issues we will discuss are:
The ability of individuals to obtain needed services;
The quality of health services available to individuals and communities;
Why the US system of care costs so much when compared to the rest of the world;
Applying health equity as a framework to reduce health disparities;
Goals and measures to improving population health.
PH 112 – Research Methods This course provides an introduction to research in the public health, health services research, and healthcare evaluation. The course will include both qualitative and quantitative research methods, using examples of research across a range of areas in health. Specifically, we will discuss the assumptions underlying research methods, the basic tools for hypothesis generation and conducting qualitative research, how to measure health outcomes and constructing questionnaires, and quantitative data collection methods. We will also focus on clinical trials construction and design, and the role of both clinical and observational trials in Public Health. The last part of the course focuses upon evaluation of health initiatives, including formative, process, and outcome evaluations of health care initiatives and community level interventions
Graduate PH 201 - Foundations of Public Health This course is designed to provide students with an overview to Public Health research. Broadly speaking, the mission of Public Health is ensuring that that people can be healthy in society. Whereas medicine is concerned with understanding individual causes and treatment of disease and illness, Public Health focuses on the community and the health of the population. This means assessing the health of the population, understanding the causes and determinants of health challenges and problems, and identifying ways to improve the health of the population. In some cases, this might mean working to help individuals gain access to existing medical services, while in other cases it might require introducing population wide interventions. What has been termed ‘New Public Health’ is a contemporary application of a broad range of evidence based, scientific, technological, and management systems implementing measures to improve the health of individuals and populations. This course is intended to provide students with an overview of the history and importance of Public Health in preventing disease and improving the health of the population, the analytic methods associated with the Public Health research, the biomedical basis of Public Health, the organization and financing of the Public Health system, the population approach to Public Health interventions, including health promotion and communication, and the importance of community based research and translation of research finding in Public Health research. This course is appropriate for graduate students from a variety of disciplines in the social and natural sciences.
PH 205 - Health Services Research Health services research has been defined as a “multidisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational systems processes, health technologies and personal behaviors affect access to care, the quality and cost of health care, and, ultimately our health and well being.” But health services research differs from other areas of research in that there is a conscious effort made to ensure that the research translates into changing practice. That is, an explicit goal of health services research is to make the results pertinent to stakeholders, be they policy makers, clinicians or the public, so as to have a positive impact on the delivery of health services to the public. The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction into foundations, tools and techniques used by researchers to examine health services. We will focus on four topics: quality of care, access to services, and cost/expenditure on health services, and translation/dissemination of research. Our discussions and readings will cover analysis of routinely collected data, interpretation and presentation of results to stakeholders and implications for changing practice.
PH 213 – Health Economics Because resources are limited and time is short, choices must be made about how to allocate resources in health care. An understanding of the principles of health economics is useful for many areas of public health and clinical decision making because they can be used to provide information on what people value, whether health care initiatives represent ‘good value for money’, and for understand health policy and how the structure of the health system impacts our health and well-being. No knowledge of economics or health economics is required. The course is appropriate for students interested in public health, developing behavioral interventions (e.g., psychology), and in clinical decision making.