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Course Descriptions

Master of Science in Health Policy Course Descriptions

HPL 500: US Healthcare Organization and Delivery (3 credits)
An overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States.
Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including the distribution and access to medical and other services, the roles of public and private insurance for health care, and the structure of healthcare benefits. Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery.

HPL 502: Population Health Management (3 credits)
An overview of population health concepts that illustrates the intersection between basic principles of epidemiology and models of population health management.

HPL 504: Health Law and Regulatory Issues (3 credits)
Explores critical legal and regulatory issues in health care using a case-based approach. Demonstrates how the legal system overlays with the healthcare enterprise and prepares students to critically analyze the impact of the law on healthcare delivery, policy decisions, and payment. Examines risk management laws, approaches, and regulations. Analyzes liability and “apology” for medical errors. Students critique and propose approaches to developing and modifying healthcare policy that consider legal and regulatory constraints, healthcare system variables, and societal issues that affect the organization and delivery of care.

HPL 506: Health Policy: Analysis and Advocacy (3 credits)
Prepares students to apply policy analysis tools to define and address health policy issues and problems. Uses the Medicare program to illustrate the policy development process. Examines the complexity of policy problems and provides the basic tools used in policy design, feasibility analysis, implementation and evaluation. Builds on prior coursework and incorporates stakeholder analysis and role of socio-cultural contexts, and economic, legal, and ethical perspectives in establishing a policy analysis framework. Prerequisites: HPL 500, HPL 504

HPL 508: Health Informatics (3 credits)
Focuses on the role of data and information in health care; its collection, storage, assembly, display and presentation in healthcare settings. Emphasizes evaluation of managerial, strategic, and process-focused applications and needs. Examines the translation of data and information into intelligence and critiques its uses in health policy decision making.

HPL 510: Health Services Research (3 credits)
An overview of the field of health services research as it applies to health policy, with the capacity for critical appraisal of the literature and with the ability to design a basic HP/HSR project. Specific competencies developed include review and synthesis of relevant published and “gray” literature, research question/hypothesis formulation, operational variable definition, choice of appropriate methodological designs, instrument design/construction, evaluation of reliability and validity, understanding of probability sampling techniques, and choice of appropriate statistical analysis techniques.

PBH 605/HPL 520:  Advanced Health Statistics (3)
Presents general approaches to multivariate statistical analysis, including elaboration and control of confounding; and key multivariate statistical analysis techniques, i.e., analysis of variance; bivariate linear regression and correlation; multiple linear regression; multiple and partial correlation: and binary and multinomial logistic regression.   Analyzes selected datasets, i.e., the 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey performed by the Public Health Management Corporation, and federal datasets, e.g., NHANES.  Prerequisite:  college/graduate level course in basic statistics; knowledge of calculus not necessary.

HPL 540: Health Economics (3 credits)
Applies economic analytical techniques to critical issues in health care and health policy, including the application of concepts of efficiency and effectiveness to production and distribution of health services, health insurance, government programs, healthcare personnel and health services organizations. Examines current health policies with an emphasis on application of economic principles to healthcare issues. Provides an overview of economic and financial approaches to evaluating the costs and benefits of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives. Prerequisite: HPL 500

HPL 532: Managerial Accounting in Health Care (3 credits)
An introduction to analysis of selected financial data and metrics for management planning, decision making, and evaluation.

HQS 503: Healthcare Quality and Safety Measurement and Outcomes Analysis (3 credits)
Establishes a basis for critical analysis of issues in healthcare quality and safety and presents conceptual and scientific approaches to management.

HPL 600: Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
Critically analyzes strategies for healthcare policy development and implementation within the context of student proposals for capstone projects. Topics include communication and negotiation, analysis of socio-technical systems (interaction of people and technology), planning and ideal design, stakeholder analysis, project management and oversight, business ethics, and program evaluation. Capstone Seminar and Capstone Project are taken simultaneously at the conclusion of the program.

HPL 601: Capstone Project (3 credits)
Students design and analyze a healthcare issue, proposal of policy options, recommendations for action, or an evaluation strategy for a selected healthcare, government or other relevant setting. Students are evaluated according to criteria, negotiated and communicated in advance, that are standard in the relevant industry. Capstone Seminar and Capstone Project are taken simultaneously at the conclusion of the program.

Master of Public Health Course Descriptions

HPL 500: US Healthcare Delivery and Organization (3 credits)
An overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States. Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including the distribution and access to medical and other services, the roles of public and private insurance for health care, and the structure of healthcare benefits. Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery.

PBH 501: Introduction to Public Health (3 credits)
Introduces history and basic principles of public health and their application to the health status of populations. Presents public health resources used to monitor the health status of the community and to evaluate public health interventions. Focuses on the basis of public health, settings and tools for public health practice, provision of public health services and the future of public health practice.

PBH 502: Behavioral and Social Theories in Public Health (3 credits)
Addresses behavioral, social and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities over the life span. Examines research and practice that contribute to the development, administration and evaluation of public health programs and policies that promote and sustain healthy lives and environments for individuals and populations.

PBH 503: History of Public Health (3 credits)
Using Philadelphia as a living laboratory, examines the health of human populations and the science of improving health in historical perspective. Focuses on 19th and 20th century roots of contemporary public health knowledge and policy. Topics include responses to epidemics, the Bacteriological Revolution, racial and economic disparities in health, the development of policy infrastructures, and global health. Includes field trips to public health-related historical sites. The course is offered collaboratively with five other Philadelphia-area public health programs. Classes are held at the Mutter Museum of the American College of Physicians.
Prerequisites: PBH 501, PBH 506

PBH 504: Basic Public Health Statistics (3 credits)
Introduces the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics, including sampling and probability, in estimation and statistical decisions as used in public health. Statistical applications include the estimation of confidence intervals; testing statistical hypotheses for population means, proportions, and variances; and use of non-parametric tests. Utilizes Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) as a software tool to enter and analyze public health data. Uses Philadelphia regional data from the Public Health Management Corporation as basis for student projects.

PBH 506: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)
Introduces epidemiology and its application in public health. Addresses basic epidemiologic terminology and definitions. Presents public health problems in terms of magnitude, person, time, place, and disease frequency. Examines correlation measures between risk factors and disease outcomes; strengths and weaknesses of standard epidemiologic study designs; and ethical and legal issues related to epidemiologic data. Students calculate basic epidemiology measures, draw inferences from epidemiologic reports, and use information technology to access, evaluate, and interpret public health data.

PBH 507: Fundamentals of Environmental Health (3 credits)
An introduction to environmental health sciences. Addresses social, political and economic factors that influence environmental health, including identification of major pollutants, their sources and adverse health effects. Examines general mechanisms of toxicity following environmental exposures, including the impact of such exposures on children’s health. Studies risk assessment of environmental hazards and surveys government regulations and their significance in protecting human health. Specific topics include solid, liquid, and hazardous waste, food safety, water and air pollution, and climate change.

PBH 509: Public Health Policy & Advocacy (3 credits)
An introduction to public health policy. Surveys the legal structure that supports health and public health policy. Addresses the process by which policy is developed and implemented and explores the role of advocacy in this process. Focuses on key public and private stakeholders and examines public health policy initiatives that originate at federal, state, local, and institutional levels. Students analyze policies related to a broad spectrum of issues, such as maternal and child health, obesity, tobacco control, environmental health, climate change preparedness, and primary care within the healthcare delivery system. Emphasizes the role of public health advocacy planning and implementation.
Prerequisites: HPL 500, PBH 501, PBH 502

PBH 510: Health Services Research (3 credits)
Presents a fundamental framework for health services research, including critical analysis of public health and health services research literature. Students develop a research protocol that includes outline, rationale, research aims and objectives, study design, and sampling methods. Incorporates principles of primary data collection; use of secondary data, survey and qualitative research methods; conduct of basic evaluations; and presentation of research findings. Working in teams, students prepare a grant proposal for oral presentation.
Prerequisites: HPL 500, PBH 501, PBH 502, PBH 504

PBH 511: Health Communication & Social Marketing (3 credits)
Introduces health communication at both the individual and community levels. Presents dominant approaches in health communication and social marketing. Topics include micro- and macro-level theories of health behavior change; skills in patient care communication; role of communication in health care and public health promotion and disease prevention; design, implementation, and evaluation of health communication and social marketing campaigns; media advocacy; and the media and health.
Prerequisites: PBH 501, PBH 502

PBH 512: Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
Introduces the philosophy, techniques and uses of the most common forms of qualitative research, with an emphasis on data collection and analysis. Addresses strengths and limitations of qualitative research and ethical issues surrounding its use. Students practice qualitative research methods through participant observation, fieldwork, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, and case studies.
Prerequisite: PBH 504

PBH 514: Dimensions of Global Health (3 credits)
Explores major issues in global health from the perspective of various health disciplines. Emphasizes issues in less developed countries, such as measurement and determinants of health; health and socio-economic development; policy, trade and health; and health and human rights. Discusses the global burden of disease as related to water, nutrition, tobacco, maternal/child health, lack of immunization, unintentional and intentional injuries, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Surveys the role of health care delivery systems and global institutions as they relate to global health issues. Presents opportunities for internships and working in an international setting.
Prerequisite: PBH 501

PBH 515: Cultural Humility and Competence (3 credits)
Explores cultural competency as it applies to health/human service practitioners. Facilitates development of cultural competence and humility in one’s self, colleagues, health service and public health work environment. Reviews literature related to diversity and cultural competence as it relates to disparities in health status and access to quality care. Students apply knowledge and personal reflection to their professional work and develop an individual or community health initiative that reflects cultural humility and competency. Students also develop an action plan that promotes diversity and cultural awareness in professional development and organizational settings.
Prerequisite: HPL 500, PBH 501, PBH 502

PBH 520: Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits)
Prepares public health professionals to be effective program planners, managers, and evaluators. Examines successful public health education program planning, implementation and evaluation. Uses examples from health promotion, community development, and chronic and infectious disease public health prevention programs. Addresses core public health competencies and skills such as community health assessment, program planning, communication, cultural competency, community dimensions of practice, program budgeting, and systems thinking. Students work in teams in a simulated coalition environment to assess health data and develop and evaluate program initiative.
Prerequisites: HPL 500, PBH 501, PBH 502, PBH 504, PBH 506, PBH 507, PBH 509, PBH 510

PBH 600: Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
Prepares students to develop key components of the Capstone Project. Explains types of projects, topic selection, problem definition, selection of capstone chair and formation of capstone committee. Reviews essential steps in project development, such as literature review, framing questions, assessment of best practices, and analytical methods and evaluation.
Prerequisites: Completion of all required MPH coursework and Clerkship.

PBH 601: Capstone Project (3 credits)
As the culminating activity in the MPH program, students research, develop, implement and/or evaluate a key public health program or policy for formal presentation to students and faculty. Students also prepare a project abstract for presentation at a local, regional or national public health meeting. Project is completed over one or two terms in conjunction with or after PBH 600: Capstone Seminar.
Prerequisites: Completion of all required and elective MPH coursework, the Clerkship and Capstone Seminar.

PBH 605/HPL 520:  Advanced Health Statistics (3)
Presents general approaches to multivariate statistical analysis, including elaboration and control of confounding; and key multivariate statistical analysis techniques, i.e., analysis of variance; bivariate linear regression and correlation; multiple linear regression; multiple and partial correlation: and binary and multinomial logistic regression.   Analyzes selected datasets, i.e., the 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey performed by the Public Health Management Corporation, and federal datasets, e.g., NHANES.  Prerequisite:  college/graduate level course in basic statistics; knowledge of calculus not necessary.

PBH 606: Advanced Epidemiology (3 credits)
Builds on PBH 506: Fundamentals of Epidemiology.
Prerequisite: PBH 506

PBH 608: Epidemiology of Chronic Conditions — Obesity & Diabetes (1 credit)
Focuses on the epidemiology of a selected chronic condition, such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis, CPD. Topics vary by term, but explore population health implications and current research in the selected topic.
Prerequisite: PBH 506

PBH 609: GIS Mapping (3 credits)
An introduction to mapping and analyzing health-related data using a geographic information system (GIS). Mapping exercises address substantive health care policy and planning issues such as cancer morbidity and mortality, health patterns of uninsured and poor populations, and environmental hazards.

PBH 650: Clerkship (3 credits)
An experiential learning activity in public health. With the guidance of a preceptor, students work as volunteers in a public health organization. Student roles vary by interest and organizational need, but may include developing and implementing health education campaigns and training programs, conducting health needs assessments, evaluating programs, and/or participating in community health events.
Prerequisites: HPL 500, PBH 501, PBH 502

Master of Science in Healthcare Quality & Safety Course Descriptions

HPL 500:  US Healthcare Organization and Delivery (3 credits)
An overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States. 
Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including the distribution and access to medical and other services, the roles of public and private insurance for health care, and the structure of healthcare benefits. Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery.

HPL 502: Population Health Management (3 credits)
An overview of population health concepts that illustrates the intersection between basic principles of epidemiology and models of population health management.

HPL 504: Health Law and Regulatory Issues (3 credits)
Explores critical legal and regulatory issues in health care using a case-based approach. Demonstrates how the legal system overlays with the healthcare enterprise and prepares students to critically analyze the impact of the law on healthcare delivery, policy decisions, and payment. Examines risk management laws, approaches, and regulations. Analyzes liability and “apology” for medical errors. Students critique and propose approaches to developing and modifying healthcare policy that consider legal and regulatory constraints, healthcare system variables, and societal issues that affect the organization and delivery of care.

HPL 508: Health Informatics (3 credits)
Focuses on the role of data and information in health care; its collection, storage, assembly, display and presentation in healthcare settings.   Emphasizes evaluation of managerial, strategic, and process-focused applications and needs. Examines the translation of data and information into intelligence and critiques its uses in health policy decision making.

HPL 540: Health Economics (3 credits)
Applies economic analytical techniques to critical issues in health care and health policy, including the application of concepts of efficiency and effectiveness to production and distribution of health services, health insurance, government programs, healthcare personnel and health services organizations. Examines current health policies with an emphasis on application of economic principles to healthcare issues. Provides an overview of economic and financial approaches to evaluating the costs and benefits of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives. Prerequisite: HPL 500

HQS 501:  Organizational Development and Change in Health Care (3 credits)
Introduces Organizational Behavior (OB) as the study of how individuals and groups act in organizations and takes a systems approach to the application of this knowledge in building better relationships within organizations. Examines human, organizational and social objectives within organizations. Examines how different types of healthcare organizations assist or impede the development of healthcare quality or safety improvement initiatives and how organizations adapt and change.  Analyzes ways in which healthcare organizations are similar to, and different from, other types of complex organizations.

HQS 503: Healthcare Quality and Safety Measurement and Outcomes Analysis (3 credits)
Establishes a basis for critical analysis of issues in healthcare quality and safety and presents conceptual and scientific approaches to management.

HQS 505:  Tools and Methods for Healthcare Quality and Safety Improvement (3 credits)
An overview of systems thinking that demonstrates how systems thinking is applied within the healthcare system. Provides tools and methods for improving quality and safety within the healthcare system.
Prerequisite: HPL 500: Analysis/Critique of Models for Chronic Illness Prevention and HQS 503: Healthcare Quality and Safety Measurement and Outcomes Analysis

HQS 507: Advanced Application of Quality & Safety Methods in Clinical Settings (3 credits)
Applies appropriate methods and tools to quality and safety problems observed by students in clinical settings or that have been identified in case studies. Students do a literature review of their selected problems, develop measures, a research design, and a method for analyzing causes of the problem, including organizational barriers to change.

HQS 510: Research & Evaluation Methods for Quality and Safety Improvement (3 credits)
An overview of health services research methodology, and its application in evaluation of healthcare programs, including quality and safety improvement interventions.

HQS 600:  Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
Critically analyzes proposals for healthcare quality and safety plans and protocols as developed by student participants. Capstone Seminar and Capstone Project should be taken simultaneously at the conclusion of the program.

HQS 601: Capstone project (3 credits)
Demonstrates the student’s ability to apply concepts, methods and theories of healthcare quality and safety to an actual problem in a real setting.  Capstone Seminar and Capstone Project should be taken simultaneously at the conclusion of the program.

Master of Science in Healthcare Quality & Safety Management Course Descriptions

HPL 500: US Healthcare Organization and Delivery (3 credits)
Provides an overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States.  Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including the distribution and access to medical and other services, the roles of public and private insurance for health care, and the structure of healthcare benefits.  Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery.

HPL 502: Population Health Management (3 credits)
An overview of population health concepts that illustrates the intersection between basic principles of epidemiology and models of population health management.

HPL 504: Health Law and Regulatory Issues (3 credits)
Explores critical legal and regulatory issues in health care using a case-based approach. Demonstrates how the legal system overlays with the healthcare enterprise and prepares students to critically analyze the impact of the law on healthcare delivery, policy decisions, and payment. Examines risk management laws, approaches, and regulations. Analyzes liability and “apology” for medical errors. Students critique and propose approaches to developing and modifying healthcare policy that consider legal and regulatory constraints, healthcare system variables, and societal issues that affect the organization and delivery of care.

HPL 508: Health Informatics (3 credits)
Focuses on the role of data and information in health care; its collection, storage, assembly, display and presentation in healthcare settings. Emphasizes evaluation of managerial, strategic, and process-focused applications and needs. Examines the translation of data and information into intelligence and critiques its uses in health policy decision making.

HQS 501:  Organizational Development and Change in Health Care (3 credits)
Introduces Organizational Behavior (OB) as the study of how individuals and groups act in organizations and takes a systems approach to the application of this knowledge in building better relationships within organizations. Examines human, organizational and social objectives within organizations. Examines how different types of healthcare organizations assist or impede the development of healthcare quality or safety improvement initiatives and how organizations adapt and change.  Analyzes ways in which healthcare organizations are similar to, and different from, other types of complex organizations.

HQS 503: Healthcare Quality and Safety Measurement and Outcomes Analysis (3 credits)
Establishes a basis for critical analysis of issues in healthcare quality and safety and presents conceptual and scientific approaches to management.

HQS 505:  Tools and Methods for Healthcare Quality and Safety Improvement (3 credits)
An overview of systems thinking that demonstrates how systems thinking is applied within the healthcare system. Provides tools and methods for improving quality and safety within the healthcare system.
Prerequisite: HPL 500: Analysis/Critique of Models for Chronic Illness Prevention and HQS 503: Healthcare Quality and Safety Measurement and Outcomes Analysis

HQS 507: Advanced Application of Quality & Safety Methods in Clinical Settings (3 credits)
Applies appropriate methods and tools to quality and safety problems observed by students in clinical settings or that have been identified in case studies. Students do a literature review of their selected problems, develop measures, a research design, and a method for analyzing causes of the problem, including organizational barriers to change.

HQS 510: Research & Evaluation Methods for Quality and Safety Improvement (3 credits)
An overview of health services research methodology, and its application in evaluation of healthcare programs, including quality and safety improvement interventions.

HQS 610: Capstone Project (3 credits)
Students design and analyze a healthcare issue, proposal of policy options, recommendations for action, or an evaluation strategy for a selected healthcare, government or other relevant setting. Students are evaluated according to criteria, negotiated and communicated in advance, that are standard in the relevant industry. Capstone Seminar and Capstone Project are taken simultaneously at the conclusion of the program.

Master of Science in Applied Health Economics & Outcomes Research

AHE 500: US Healthcare Financing and Reimbursement (3 credits)
Introduces financial management of healthcare services and focuses on identification of costs of care and payment systems for medical and pharmaceutical services.  Discusses mechanisms for delivery and funding of care through private and public programs.  Explains the impact of benefit design on provider and patient behavior with particular focus on managed care versus fee for service models.  Reviews data sources and their applicability to economic analysis, including inpatient billing and cost-accounting systems, Medicare and Medicaid and other claims data sets, secondary data available through proprietary data vendors and federal and state databases. Discusses the impact of recent US healthcare reform legislation on the delivery of healthcare services, including the Accountable Care Organization provisions in the law.

AHE 504: Economic Modeling in Healthcare (3 credits)
Presents the development, methodological approach, and application of quantitative models used to inform health care decision trees, methodology and sensitivity analysis.  Covers Markov models, Monte Carlo simulations, and other stochastic methods.  Discusses approaches for uncertainty and risk adjustments, determination of probability values, costs, other key model parameters, and the importance of perspective in modeling and simulation.  Considers the application and presentation of models to policy makers, providers, health care managers, and key stakeholders who have interests in modeled output and the quantification of economic value.  

AHE 506: Subjective Outcomes in Health Evaluation (3 credits)
Focuses on concepts, theory, and applications of methods for measuring subjective health outcomes including symptoms, functional status and well-being, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction.  Explores appropriate tools for measuring patient-reported outcomes and considers the importance of evaluating the reliability, validity, feasibility, and responsiveness of subjective measures, including special topics such as determining a clinically meaningful difference and missing values.   Covers current requirements for Patient-Reported Outcomes endpoint filings with regulatory authorities, including conceptualization, validation and evidentiary standards.  Discusses weighting of health using quality of life data and utility methods.  Explores characteristics of successful applications of Patient-Reported Outcomes research.

AHE 508: Epidemiology for Outcomes Research (3 credits)
Presents methods and means to evaluate occurrence of disease and effects of interventions on disease incidence, prevalence and outcomes.  Covers conduct and synthesis of prospective and retrospective research in generating estimates of the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions.   Considers the strengths and weaknesses of research designs and statistical approaches to evidence assessments.  Includes methodological challenges in observational research such as bias (systematic error) and confounding (mixing of effects).  Discusses adjustments to deal with limitations of evidence and analytical strategies.   Explores practical applications of epidemiological practice in outcomes research.

AHE 510: Econometric and Observational Methods (3 credits)
Provides comprehensive overview of skills and knowledge necessary to design and implement prospective and retrospective observational investigations.  Targets econometric techniques used to control for unobserved covariates considered problematic in observational investigations due to lack of randomization. Topics include appropriate use of econometric techniques such as propensity score matching, instrumental variables and common health economic research designs including regression discontinuity and interrupted time series. Considers how selected techniques improve the ability to make statistical inference within randomized trial setting.  

AHE 512:  Simulation for Economic Evaluation (3 credits)
Introduces key concepts in the use of simulation for economic evaluations in health care.  Explores advantages and imitations of individual-level simulation in economic evaluation, following the ISPOR-SMDM guidelines for good modeling practices.  Considers rationale for simulations and includes case studies and applications from experience in Health Technology Assessment.  Covers discrete event simulation as a tool, its components, how to conceptualize a model, how to model clinical evidence and resource use, and how to codify variables and decisions in modeling.  Utilizes ARENA software for applications.  Provides practical experience in real world uses of simulation. Advances ability to select appropriate analytic methodologies and critically analyze limitations of data.

AHE 514: Outcomes and Economic Analyses (3 credits)
Provides an overview of medical-economic analyses in the healthcare sector.  Reviews conceptual foundations and practical applications of cost-effectiveness in healthcare.  Explores the landscape of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and typical requirements for successful applications, including standards of evidence, the identification and measurement of direct medical and non-medical costs, and indirect costs, and an overview of the main forms of economic analyses, such as cost identification and burden of illness studies, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit and cost-utility analysis.  Demonstrates how these analyses are designed, implemented, interpreted, and assembled in HTA dossiers to achieve market access and utilization.

PhD in Population Health Sciences

HPL 500:  US Healthcare Organization and Delivery (3 credits)
An overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States.Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including the distribution and access to medical and other services, the roles of public and private insurance for health care, and the structure of healthcare benefits. Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery.

PBH 502:  Behavioral and Social Theories (3 credits)
Addresses behavioral, social and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities over the life span.  Examines research and practice that contribute to the development, administration and evaluation of public health programs and policies that promote and sustain healthy lives and environments for individuals and populations.

PHS 600:  Behavioral and Social Sciences in Population Health
(3 credits)
A seminar designed to integrate previous course knowledge with advanced skills in the research of social and behavioral health sciences.

PBH 605/HPL 520:  Advanced Health Statistics (3 credits)
Presents general approaches to multivariate statistical analysis, including elaboration and control of confounding; and key multivariate statistical analysis techniques, i.e., analysis of variance; bivariate linear regression and correlation; multiple linear regression; multiple and partial correlation: and binary and multinomial logistic regression.   Analyzes selected datasets, i.e., the 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey performed by the Public Health Management Corporation, and federal datasets, e.g., NHANES.  Prerequisite:  college/graduate level course in basic statistics; knowledge of calculus not necessary. 

PHS 615:  Advanced Statistics for Population Health Sciences: Multi-level Modeling  (3 credits)
Introduces multilevel model modeling, aka hierarchical linear modeling, Investigates the relationships between individuals and their contextual lives (i.e., neighborhood, culture, family, etc.) to determine which individual and contextual variables contribute to mortality and morbidity. Introduces methods to determine the predictors at both levels and the variance between and within individual and contextual levels. Also introduces methods for longitudinal modeling approaches and analysis. Uses software such as MLwiN.

PBH 506: Introduction to Epidemiology  (3 credits)
Introduces epidemiology and its application in public health.  Addresses basic epidemiologic terminology and definitions.  Presents public health problems in terms of magnitude, person, time, place, and disease frequency.  Examines correlation measures between risk factors and disease outcomes; strengths and weaknesses of standard epidemiologic study designs; and ethical and legal issues related to epidemiologic data.  Students calculate basic epidemiology measures, draw inferences from epidemiologic reports, and use information technology to access, evaluate, and interpret public health data.

PBH 606:  Advanced Epidemiology  (3 credits)
Presents examples of epidemiological theory and methods such as:  statistical methods for analysis of missing data, Bayesian Epidemiology, design and analysis of cross-over studies, and propensity scores.

PBH 507: Fundamentals of Environmental Health (3 credits)
Introduces environmental health sciences.  Addresses social, political and economic factors that influence environmental health, including identification of major pollutants, their sources and adverse health effects.  Examines general mechanisms of toxicity following environmental exposures, including the impact of such exposures on children’s health.  Studies risk assessment of environmental hazards and surveys government regulations and their significance in protecting human health.  Includes specific topics on solid, liquid, and hazardous waste, food safety, water and air pollution, and climate change.

PBH 509:  Public Health Policy and Advocacy (3 credits)
Introduces the conceptual development and application of public health policy. Provides strategies for public health advocacy. Provides overview of the legal/regulatory structure that supports public health policy. Addresses the process by which policy is developed and explores the role of advocacy in the process.  Examines the structure of the public health system and policy initiatives that originate at federal, state, local, and institutional levels. Analyzes policies and policy options in injury control, maternal and child health, obesity, tobacco control, and climate change.  Addresses advocacy strategies in relation to specific topics. 

HPL 506: Health Policy: Analysis and Advocacy (3 credits)
Prepares students to apply policy analysis tools to define and address health policy issues and problems. Identifies a major health care program or arena (such as an uninsured population, Medicare, HIV, quality, medical costs, etc) or proposed healthcare legislation to use as a template for illustrating the policy development process. Defines policy problem complexity as backdrop for use of tools of policy design, feasibility analysis, policy implementation, and evaluation of policy effectiveness in goal achievement. Incorporates stakeholder analysis, the role of socio-cultural contexts, and economic, legal, and ethical perspectives in establishing a policy analysis framework.

HPL 504: Health Law and Regulatory Issues (3 credits)
Explores critical legal and regulatory issues in health care using a case-based approach. Demonstrates how the legal system overlays with the healthcare enterprise and prepares students to critically analyze the impact of the law on healthcare delivery, policy decisions, and payment. Examines risk management laws, approaches, and regulations. Analyzes liability and “apology” for medical errors. Students critique and propose approaches to developing and modifying healthcare policy that consider legal and regulatory constraints, healthcare system variables, and societal issues that affect the organization and delivery of care.

PHS 602:  Bioethics  (3 credits)
Review s and integrates issues of ethics in population health sciences.  Employs discussions with faculty researchers in a problem-based learning environment to uncover complex issues of ethics, morals, traditions, and theories in population health science.

HPL 508: Health Informatics (3 credits)
Focuses on the role of data and information in health care; its collection, storage, assembly, display and presentation in healthcare settings.   Emphasizes evaluation of managerial, strategic, and process-focused applications and needs. Examines the translation of data and information into intelligence and critiques its uses in health policy decision making. 

HPL 540:  Health Economics (3 credits)
Applies general theoretical principles of economics to the healthcare sector. Recognizes the importance of scarcity and incentives, especially as they contribute to differences peculiar to health and the healthcare industry.  Examines the supply and demand of health and medical care as they involve consumers/patients, physicians, nurses and hospitals, technology, and drugs. Explores market structures, market competitiveness, health insurance and the role of government and the pharmaceutical industry.  Presents international comparisons.   Prerequisite:  HPL 500: US Healthcare Organization and Delivery

PBH 609:  Geo-Based Information Systems Mapping (3 credits)
An introduction to mapping and analyzing health-related data using a geographic information system (GIS).  Mapping exercises address substantive health care policy and planning issues such as cancer morbidity and mortality, health patterns of uninsured and poor populations, and environmental hazards.

PHS 650:  Evaluative & Outcomes Research and Design (3 credits)
Provides experience in design of scientific evaluative studies of health programs and presents the historical development of evaluation science.  Critically exams  various approaches and methods  developed for use in the scientific evaluation of health programs.  Presents operationalization of variables, threats to validity, and experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental research designs. Prerequisites:  Graduate level courses in basic statistics and research design.

PBH 512:  Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
Introduces the philosophy, techniques and uses of the most common forms of qualitative research, with an emphasis on data collection and analysis.  Addresses strengths and limitations of qualitative research and ethical issues surrounding its use.  Students practice qualitative research methods through participant observation, fieldwork, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, and case studies.

PHS 700:  Integrative Research Seminar  (3 credits – 1 credit for each of 3 terms)
Provides venue to explore innovative ideas within a scholarly and professional framework to assist in  the development of a dissertation proposal.

PHS 620:  Teaching /Learning Seminar (3 credits)
Introduces fundamentals of course design and facilitation for f2f and online learning, including  instructional design theory, online moderation techniques, technologies for online learning, development of course objectives, the Quality matters Rubric for quality online course design, and support resources available to both faculty and students. 

PHL 800:  Doctoral Preliminary Examination (1 credit)
Taken upon completion of core required coursework.  Covers core areas of knowledge and application.

PHS 802:  Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (1 credit)
Taken upon completion of all course work including the Dissertation Proposal Course.  Student presents in writing a refined dissertation topic, literature review and analysis, central themes, issues and research questions directly related to the dissertation topic. 

PHS 805:  Dissertation Proposal Seminar (3 credits)
Intended for the student who is advancing to doctoral candidacy.  Small group seminar taken in the final semester of course work prepares students for the dissertation processes under the direction of the Director of Doctoral Programs. Seminar culminates in preparation of  an annotated outline of the dissertation proposal that includes the first three chapters (i.e., Introduction and Background to the issue/problem and the research question and hypothesis; a literature review (an introduction to key and current literature on the issue/problem); and a description of methods including design, variables, sample, and outcome measures.

PHS 810a and PHS 810b (3 credits each)
Dissertation