Public Health 101 Series: Introduction to Public Health





Course Description

Public Health is an inherently multidisciplinary field, drawing on skills and knowledge across the biological, quantitative, and social sciences. The aim of this nancourse is to introduce students, researchers, and healthcare providers to public health as a field of research and as an approach to framing and addressing health challenges. 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:

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 a 2014 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:

Participants will dig deeper by working through a second case study of their choosing. Building on the first session, participants will select one of two possible case studies 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.

Participants are welcome to attend just Session 1 or both Sessions 1 and 2. 

Target Audience: This nanocourse is intended for scientists, clinicians, and others with an interest in learning more about public health. There are no prerequisites. Participants from outside of Harvard are welcome, but you must use your university/work email address to register.

Location: Virtual. Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.

Dates and Times:

Session 1: June 28th 2pm-4pm

Session 2: June 30th 2pm-4pm

Course Instructors:

Dr. Jenny Spencer (primary course contact;, Dr. James Hay, Dr. Jinhee Hur, Dr. Rebecca Lee, Dr. Mahmoud Mikdar

Curriculum Advisor: Dr. Deepali Ravel

Course Director: Dr. Dyann Wirth

To register, please complete this form by Sunday, June 27.