Courses Taught by Sheela Kennedy

PUBHLTH200 Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health

  • Undergraduate level
  • Fall, Winter term(s)
  • 4 Credit Hour(s)
  • Instructor(s): Kennedy, Sheela
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Description:

    This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the major issues of public health with a focus on the United States, although global health issues are considered as well. We will examine what those issues are, what determines them, and how they can be altered. As a survey of the entire field of public health, the course provides a broad overview for students wishing no more than an introduction to the field, as well as good grounding for students who wish to pursue additional coursework in public health.

    The winter term offering is a blended learning course. It combines online content and activities with face-to-face learning.

    This course is a prerequisite for admission to the undergraduate degree program in Public Health. This course satisfies LSA's Race and Ethnicity requirement and counts as 4 credits towards LSA’s Social Science requirement.

  • Course Goals: The course should provide a broad overview for students wishing no more than an introduction to the field, as well as good grounding for students who wish to pursue additional coursework in the subject.
  • Competencies: The specific course objectives are expressed within the following competencies:
    1. Students will be able to identify the principal determinants of health and disease, including the determinants of inequalities in the health of groups differentiated by race, ethnicity, and economic status.
    2. Students will be able to explain what public health is, what distinguishes it from the other health sciences, and what unique contributions it has to make to the health of the public.
    3. Students will understand when governments should intervene in matters pertaining to the health of the public and when they should not. They will be able to describe the major formal organizational structures within the United States responsible for monitoring and improving the public's health.
    4. Students will be able to describe the basic approaches and purposes of the two major analytical methods of public health, epidemiology and biostatistics, without achieving mastery of the methods (i.e., this is not a methods course; that is the subject of other courses).
    5. Students will be able to explain the biomedical basis of infectious and chronic diseases and congenital abnormalities, again without developing detailed expertise on these subjects.
    6. Students will be able to identify the principal social and behavioral determinants of health and demonstrate how they come into influence the most important behavior-related health problems of the day.
    7. Students will be able to identify the principal environmental determinants of health and describe the major environmental health issues of the present time.
    8. Students will be able to explain the role of public health in medical care and identify the principal problems in the U.S. health care system.
    9. Students will be able to itemize critical issues in global health, with a special focus on health in poor countries.
  • Learning Objectives: To give undergraduates a good understanding of what is really important in public health, what determines health, and how society influences health.
  • This course is cross-listed with Pubpol 210 in the Ford School department.
  • Syllabus for PUBHLTH200