Public Health 101 Series: Introduction to Public Health





Course Description:

This nancourse will introduce students, researchers, and healthcare providers to Public Health as a field of research and as an approach to framing and addressing health challenges. As noted in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s mission statement, Public Health is an inherently multidisciplinary field, drawing on skills and knowledge across the biological, quantitative, and social sciences. Through lectures and small group experiential learning, students in this nanocourse will gain a fundamental understanding of the goals, scope, and tools of public health and a common language that we hope will enable further learning and collaboration. 


Session 1 (open to the public):

Participants will be introduced to different definitions of health and public health. Building on these definitions, a conceptual framework will be presented for thinking about public health challenges and the resulting response. These concepts will be further explored through a case study on the coordination of the Liberian response during the recent Ebola epidemic. Participants will also be introduced to the various tools of public health and how they relate to programs and departments at HSPH.


Session 2 (registered participants only):

Participants will dig deeper by working through a second case study. Building on the first session, participants will select one of two components of the Liberian Ebola response (epidemiological surveillance or community engagement) based on their interests. Participants are expected to read the second case prior to the session, prepare responses to several short answer questions, and be prepared for an interactive case discussion. Participants will gain hands-on experience identifying, proposing, and evaluating responses to public health challenges.


Upon completing the course, participants will be able to define health and public health, frame the conditions and responses of public health challenges, and identify major components of the public health toolkit. Participants will be provided with resources to further explore course content. 



Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC) at Harvard Medical School

Session 1: TMEC 102 (New location!)

Session 2: TMEC L-007 Conference room


Dates and Times:

Session 1: March 5, 2020 (1 - 4PM)

Session 2: March 12, 2020 (1 - 4PM)


Course Instructors: Patrick Kimes (primary course contact;, Leeann Comfort, Nikki DeVille, Runze Huang, Lucas Henneman, Sung S Park,  Udara Perera, Jenny Spencer

Curriculum Fellow: Deepali Ravel,

Course Director: Eric Rubin

To register, please complete this form by Monday, March 2.