As the Associate Director of International Initiatives in the Department of Public Health Sciences, I lead the global health educational curriculum for MPH and DrPH students.
Our program was established in 2015 and offers courses in global health, global health practicum opportunities, and a global health summer training course for our international partners’ students and Penn State students in Hershey, PA.
This course provides an overview of the major issues and initiatives in contemporary global health. Throughout the course we will explore the political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental determinants of health. We will review the role of global health players such as the World Health Organization, UN agencies, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as how they interact with health systems to improve health. This course will also discuss the major health issues worldwide and key factors associated with health inequalities. The course will take a public health approach, but will also touch upon global health frameworks from other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology.
PHS 804: Integrating Systems Thinking into Global Health
In this course, students will engage in case studies of global health programs and initiatives. A systems thinking framework will be applied to the cases and students will use the framework to anticipate unintended consequences related to international field work and to propose possible solutions. Cases will illustrate the complexity of global health work and the importance and implications related to the interconnectedness and complementary roles of critical public health systems. The cases used in this course will include a spectrum of small to large scale programs and short-term to long-term response efforts. The framework can be applied domestically and the course will consider domestic health issues. Cases will cover the major topics of the public health system, biosocial context, chronic disease, infectious disease, and systems failures.