The key objective is for the students to be able to use epidemiological methods to assess public health needs, critically evaluate published findings, and design original studies. Epidemiology involves both subject matter expertise (e.g. prevalence of and risk factors for a specific health problem) and methodological expertise (e.g. knowledge of study design, analysis, and interpretation to estimate causal exposures in specified populations). Students will use descriptive epidemiology to quantify the population burden of diseases, injuries and birth outcomes in terms of person, place and time, and analytic epidemiology to identify risk and protective factors and to evaluate screening and intervention programs. Through integration with Biostatistics, students will understand sources of bias such as sampling, measurement, and confounding, and the role of probability theory in reducing our uncertainty about causal exposures. Epidemiology also links to Health Policy via recommended measures for surveillance, prevention and control of health problems.
The key learning objective is for the students to be able to interpret public health research literature and appreciate how to design studies and analyze data arising from their own projects with optimum methods. The course will enable the students to understand the basic concepts and to apply the basic biostatistics principles to public health problems. They will learn how to use descriptive techniques to summarize public health data, such as vital statistics, public health recors and surveys, disease monitoring, and surveillance. Through integration with Epidemiology, students will learn quantitative methods that are useful in studies of factors that influence the distribution of health and disease in populations. Students will also learn methods used for the evaluation of health care services delivery.
The key learning objective is for the students to understand the influence and impact of environmental factors including biological, physical, and chemical on the health of communities and be aware of the environmental hazards and risks. The course explains the factors that enhance population susceptibility to adverse outcomes, as well as the mechanisms of toxic response that follow exposures to environmental hazards. The course also describes specific approaches aimed at assessing environmental risks to health and managing risks to reduce environment hazards and interventions. The course is in line with Millennium Development Goal 7, “Ensure environment sustainability” and focusses on national and international efforts and regulatory programs and guidelines aimed at controlling health environment hazards in human population.
The key purpose of the course is to instill the understanding of a range of theoretical approaches, methods and strategies of health promotion and protection, and be able to apply the knowledge to improve community health in line with the Ottawa Charter for Public Health and the 2011 UN lead global call for management and control of chronic diseases. The course will enable the students to gain skills in designing effective health promotion interventions including, healthy life styles, community awareness and empowerment, advocacy, social marketing and policy development. They will develop interpersonal skills enabling them to work effectively with stakeholders across disciplines and sectors.
This course is aimed at addressing the impact of behavioural, social and cultural factors on individual and community health and health disparities with an objective to promote and sustain healthy environments, practices and life styles for individuals and populations. The course will also outline the role of anthropology in public health; and describe the challenges of incorporating anthropological approaches within public health institutions and public health practice. Using specific examples, cases and experiences, the course will focus on: understanding social and cultural determinants of public health problems, evaluation of public health policies, implementation of public health initiatives and interventions in population groups.
The course will discuss the planning, organization, administration and evaluation of health and public health programs by examining five areas that impact the health of a community: 1) Health Systems; 2) Public Health; 3) Mental Health; 4) Nutrition, and 5) Politics of Health. The course will also discuss future challenges and policy options in each of these five areas.
Module 1: Health Systems - This module sets the stage for the course. Students will learn about the Canadian health care system and compare it to international health systems.
Module 2: Public Health – Students will learn about the public and population health approach, understand the development of public health in Canada along with current public health problems and the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Module 3: Mental Health – This module explores how families and individuals are affected by mental health and mental illness. Students will learn about interventions and programs, along with their planning, organization and administration by examining specific mental health issues such as homelessness.
Module 4: Nutrition – This module explores the concept of food security, which exists when all people have reliable access to a sufficient amount of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food. Both under-nutrition and over-nutrition are related to a variety of diseases. Emphasis is placed on population-level dietary and nutritional status assessment; policies, standards and guidelines for public health nutrition; and strategies to address the nutritional needs of population groups community development and partnerships.
Module 5: Politics of Health – Public health by definition is done in the public sphere and is therefore affected by the situational context and environment. Politics is a major component of this external environment, and this module explores how the work of public health is impacted by this.
This course is divided into three modules: 1) developing transformational leadership skills; 2) building effective collaborations; and 3) leading change. The first module positions leadership as leading self, others, organizations and society. The development of leadership virtues, values and character is core to making a difference at each level. The course aims to prepare the student to embark on a journey of self-discovery, assessment and reflection. The focus in the second module is the strategic collaborations between and among government, nonprofit organizations and for profit businesses that are becoming increasingly important in health care world-wide. The third module addresses the calls for health system reform. Classic change management theories, complexity science and social movement theories are used to analyze current, hot issues in health system and to develop actionable change processes.
Together with the course on Social Determinants of Health, this course will explore the relationships between cultural diversity and social behaviours in Indigenous communities, raise awareness about the state of Indigenous health and promote understanding about their social and cultural conditions. The course will explore the impact of various social, cultural and economic determinants of disease on the health of Indigenous populations. Through the focus on Indigenous Health this course will inform on health issues in the context of broader social, cultural and historical community factors that lead to health disparities. In recognizing the Indigenous health issues linked to social, historical, and cultural indicators, the course will create opportunities for further research and query, to understand and address the influences of cross-cultural factors not just for the Indigenous health issues, but other similar populations within Canada and beyond.
The purpose of this course is to understand the processes of health policy development to achieve specific health care goals within a society. The students will learn how evidence based public health policy defines a future vision, outline priorities, explains the role of different partners and stakeholders, examines the economic, financial and political influences and builds on consensus. This course will underscore moral issues related to public health practice and policies that lead to health disparities within populations. By the end of the course students will have an understanding of major frameworks and tools, use of evidence, reasoning, and argumentation to develop thoughtful and appropriate responses to the complex moral issues related to public health practice and policy making. This course will enable students to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical and equity issues related to public health practice and policy development.
While management is a process of making decisions about how resources will be generated, developed, allocated, combined and used to pursue intended health service objectives and outcomes, the social context within which it operates prevents cookie cutter solutions. In addition of the primary focus of Health Planning, emergency preparedness and information management will be highlighted. In the Health Planning module, the students’ understanding of the foundations of various health systems models and designs globally set the stage for developing context specific health objectives and implementation plans. Topics also include organizing for performance; creating and maintaining healthy work places; developing people for their full potential; and monitoring and managerial control mechanisms. In the second module, the complexities of delivering health services during emergencies and disaster relief are examined. Planning for alternate supply chains and distribution is central. The Health Information Management module focuses on the flow, management and use of health data across integrated health programs. Development and implementation of complex health information systems will be explored, including security and privacy of health information and the adoption of new technologies.
The course will review theories and inform on integrated theoretical framework/model for the evaluation planning process. The framework helps identify the health determinants of the interventions that the program aims to address and provides guidance in identifying program elements and the underlying principles and values of the planning the evaluation process. The students will apply the theoretical framework to their evaluation design, evaluate synergies and devise a plan for monitoring an evaluation plan. They will learn to develop key evaluation questions, process and outcome indicators, data collection tools and methods, data analysis, evaluation time frame and deliverables.
The main objective of the course is for the students to be able make empirical decisions and judgments on health issues at policy, planning, implementation and evaluation levels. The course will build on the acquired knowledge of and application of quantitative research methods in epidemiology and biostatistics and introduce additional concepts and tools for research such as qualitative methods and systematic reviews in research. The students will understand the values of triangulation in research, learn how to critically read and draw inference from published literature, merits and values of triangulation of research results and about sharing the knowledge with relevant stakeholders. By the end of the course, the students will learn about different approaches in research methods, evaluating published research results, the value of stakeholders’ participation in health research and be able to utilize knowledge for decision making and practice. The students will be able to apply the relevant approaches during their practicum and in their future practice and decision making as change agents, managers and leaders in public health programs.
The students will understand the role and contribution of health economics to the decision making processes aimed at health development. Health economics plays an important role in policy and operational decisions and helps in making health systems more efficient, effective and equitable through effective and evidence supported policy making and implementation. The course will inform on how health economics improves health system performance, efficiencies and equity in health, the role of health sector markets, their varied supply and demand needs and systems, their vulnerability to failures and who pays for what in health care.
Learning is maximized when students place their didactic learning in the real world context. This course focuses on utilizing current events and emerging public health issues as a means to reiterate, enhance and deepen the students’ understanding of various concepts they are learning in different courses. The goal is to develop a systems thinking approach to public health issues.
During the Summer term students will participate in a 12 week practicum. Public health practice is a key part of the MPH degree. The practicum aims to provide students with an opportunity to integrate, synthesize and apply public health knowledge and skills and competencies acquired during MPH courses to real-world public health situations. The students contribute to communities by addressing a public health problem while developing personal confidence and skills as a public health professional.
Public Health Informatics is the study of developing and applying computer science, information science, and data science methods to support public health decisions by facilitating the availability of timely, relevant, and high-quality information. It draws primarily on the fields of computer science and biostatistics, but also on health communication and decision analysis. This course will introduce you to public health informatics methods through hands-on examples and through studying the systems that use them. Using this system-oriented approach, you will learn how the methods come together to address public health challenges, and you will learn to design and propose a novel system comprised of the component methods we study in order to solve a public health problem. The hands-on examples will expose you to the R programming language and analysis software, but no prior programming experience is needed.
The purpose of this culminating experience is to provide a final integrative experience where synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge and practices can occur. Students will write a Teaching Case (Case Note, Teaching Note and Instructor Guidance) that will demonstrate synthesis and integration of knowledge and concepts by analyzing a specific public health problem/issue.