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Master of Public Health
Course Descriptions

PHLT 500
THE ETHICAL BASIS OF THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
3 CREDITS/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
This course provides an introduction to the practice of public health, through an exploration of the ethical and philosophical basis of public health research, practice, and policy. Students gain a broad overview of some of the main philosophical and moral ideas used as a basis for resolving debates in the public health arena. Ethical theories are explored and critically examined, with a focus on their application to public health. Emphasis is placed on racial and ethnic disparities in health. Moral developmental theories will be discussed in light of the current debate regarding gender and racial disparities in decision for ethical practice from a systems theory perspective. The course draws on students’ practice experiences to promote moral reflection and personal values clarifications with regard to contemporary public health challenges and examines current and emerging issues as influenced by emerging technological, clinical, political, legal, socio-economic, and fiscal factors.

PHLT 512
INFORMATICS
3 CREDITS/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
This course focuses on understanding the fundamentals of computer systems and how they might be applied to support health care administration.  It emphasizes the use of computer applications software for Internet research as well as data analysis and reporting.  Content incorporates theoretical and “hands-on” exposure to word processing, spreadsheet, database management, presentations, graphics, electronic mail, video, social media, and Internet.

PHLT 513
GIS APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH
3 CREDITS/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
This introductory course provides an overview of the basic concepts and uses of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in public health. As part of a toolkit for public health professionals, ArcGIS provides a means to explore data on a spatial level and convey this information to a broader audience. Students will explore GIS tools and learn to manipulate, analyze, visualize, and illustrate geographic data. Students will examine relationships, trends and patterns using GIS technology. This course is structured to be a hands-on laboratory that covers both conceptual and technical topics.

PHLT 520
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND PROGRAM DESIGN
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
Environmental Health studies health effects of modern ecosystems on human populations. Local and regional conditions such as air, water and soil contamination are scrutinized as are global threats, increasing population pressures, poverty and emerging threats to populations. Environmental Health integrates tools of ecological analysis, epidemiology, and toxicology and utilizes risk assessment to define and weigh human exposures to a range of toxicants. We examine impacts of environmental conditions including disaster preparedness, occupational health, community health and healthy conditions in the home. In this course students examine biological, physical, and chemical factors affecting the health of communities. They analyze direct and indirect effects of environmental and occupational agents and outcomes associated with exposure to hazards. Environmental risk assessment involves risk reduction and risk management. Mechanisms of toxicity are investigated. The responsibility of public health professionals for the human safety and health of communities through federal, state, and community regulations and agencies is explored.

PHLT 530
PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
Students explore theories of administration as applied to organizations focused on the delivery of public health programs in the context of community systems. They examine the access and distribution of health services, question issues in managed care, and review budgeting issues challenging public health leaders in the United States. Case studies of health programs are scrutinized.

PHLT 540
INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH: CONCEPTS OF HEALTH AND DISEASE
3 credits/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
Students focus on models of health promotion, disease prevention, and theories of disease causation from an evidence-base perspective.  They explore genetic, physiologic, social, and behavioral factors affecting the health status of individuals and populations. Environmental agents that threaten health in urban and rural settings are considered from a systems perspective. Health disparities are investigated as evidenced by current research. Databases are surveyed to reveal vital statistics and public health records that inform public health programs. Health priorities, major diseases, and disease burden are examined.

PHLT 551
URBAN MEN’S HEALTH
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
This course explores the growing disparities among disenfranchised and vulnerable populations in our society.  Students examine the predicament of fragile populations with a focus on the unique health status of the urban male.  This course recognizes that the trait masculinity, gender roles, employment, and psychosocial factors influence the way men care for themselves and others.  Students experience health promotion activities in environments demonstrating the challenges urban men face when seeking access to healthcare.

PHLT 554
PUBLIC HEALTH, AIDS, AND SOCIETY
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
This course provides in-depth study of the most critical public health issue facing society. Topics include current HIV/AIDS information and an exploration of issues including the history of HIV, transmission and risk factors for infection, local and global disparities in HIV infection, trends in research programs, international/political implications of research and prevention efforts, and the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS.

PHLT 556
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTITIONER
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
Course content emphasizes theories of reproductive health, sexual development and factors influencing sexual behavior within the continuum of health and illness. Common sexual practices and reproductive health issues of people are studied within the context of lifestyle and situational life crises. Concepts of normal sexual function and dysfunction are examined. Contemporary sexual health and reproductive issues are explored. Theoretical foundations of the medical, psychological, socio-cultural, political, and biological determinants of human sexual behavior and reproductive health will be explored. Issues of biology related to sex, gender identity, social sex role, and sexual orientation will be discussed. Contemporary issues of sexual risk behaviors, sexually transmitted infections and safe sex practices will be examined in addition to those issues of chronic illness, disability, and sexual coercion.

PHLT 557
WOMEN, GENDER, AND PUBLIC HEALTH
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
This course will focus on constructions of gender and sex and their implications for understanding determinants of population health and creating healthy public policy. It will consider how different frameworks of addressing gender and biological sex shape questions people ask about, and explanations and interventions they offer for, societal patterns of health, disease, and well-being. The course will demonstrate ways of conceptualizing gender in relation to biology and health using case examples. In all cases, issues of gender will be related to other social determinants of health, including social class, racism, and other forms of inequality. Implications of diverse approaches will be debated, as part of developing useful strategies for improving physical, mental, and social well-being.

PHLT 558 
ADOLESCENT HEALTH: PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES, PROGRAMS, AND POLICIES
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
This course focuses on the major public health issues of adolescents in the United States and the programs and policies that improve the health and well-being of this population. The students examine the prevalence and etiology of health and wellness indicators for youth and explore a variety of aspects of adolescence and adolescent health. They will analyze adolescent health concerns through conceptual frameworks and recommend effective solutions through interventions.

PHLT 615
VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
Students review theories of violence causation and epidemiologic patterns of violence in urban settings. An ecological framework will be used to guide critical thinking about risk and protective factors regarding violence. Students explore secondary data sources important to public health practitioners working in the area of violence prevention and control. . Programs aimed at prevention violence and injury in urban settings will be examined and critically evaluated.

PHLT 635
PUBLIC POLICY, PROGRAM PLANNING, AND EVALUATION
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
This course will provide an introduction to health policy, program planning, evaluation and grant writing in the public health context.  This course will allow students to strengthen and develop their skills in policy formulation and implementation.  The social, economic, legal, ethical, and political environments, which influence public policy, planning, evaluation, and funding will be explored.  Students will acquire familiarity with strategies for health planning, evaluation and health care funding.

PHLT 637
EPIDEMIOLOGY
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
This course is an introduction to epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in human populations. The course begins with examination of measures of health, including morbidity, mortality and others. The middle portion of the course focuses on techniques for studying the distribution and causes of population health. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs. The remainder of the course is devoted to the application of epidemiological principles and evidence in practice and policy. Screening is examined as an essential element of public health practice.

PHLT 639
RACE, ETHNICITY, AND PUBLIC HEALTH
3 CREDITS/ELECTIVE
This course provides students with an understanding of racial and ethnic differences in health status and the factors that shape them. During the course, students examine the concepts of race and ethnicity, and distinguish between categories of biological and social constructionist perspectives. Students define and describe racial and ethnic health disparities, discuss mechanisms underlying disparities, and think critically about existing health research on health disparities.  They explore theoretical frameworks for interpreting disparities in health and examine approaches for elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.

PHLT 696
GRANT WRITING SEMINAR
3 CREDITS/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
Students investigate private and governmental requests for proposals, grants databases, and grant elements with an emphasis on the introduction, proposal summary, problem statement, program goals and objectives, evaluation, personnel, equipment, consultants, budgets, timelines, and periodic reporting of progress. Requests for information from funding entities are also compared. Students write and critique a grant proposal based on the needs of a vulnerable population.

PHLT 704
STATISTICS AND BIOSTATISTICS            
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
This course reviews correlation, prediction and simple regression, hypothesis testing, t-tests, ANOVA, and ANCOVA, along with various multivariate statistical methods employed in public health research (e.g., MANOVA, multiple regression analysis, exploratory factor analysis). It also provides an introduction into several statistical methods commonly used in public health, including structural equation modeling. Statistical support of decisions to treat are emphasized including point and interval estimators, risk evaluation, odds ratio, and analysis of dichotomous and continuous variables representing health outcomes. Concepts are applied to the critique of research studies in health care disciplines.

PHLT 705
SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES IN PUBLIC HEALTH
3 CREDITS/CORE KNOWLEDGE
Students analyze the contribution of social factors to health and illness, including risk behavior and health inequities. Health behavior programs and interventions are explored. Theories of health promotion, health behavioral change, and health education are examined and applied to a health promotion project for a vulnerable and diverse community.

PHLT 707
COMMUNITY HEALTH PROMOTION
3 CREDITS/CROSS-CUTTING KNOWLEDGE
In this course, students will learn key principles of community health promotion and community based participatory research (CBPR) principles. Students will learn methodological considerations of CBPR in establishing community collaborations and partnerships, community assessment, research planning, data collection, and dissemination efforts. Primary and secondary sources of data are analyzed and applied to community health analysis. Principles of community engagement are examined in relation to a community health promotion problem challenging a diverse group.

PHLT 750
PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE EXPERIENCE I: SEMINAR
3 CREDITS/100 HOURS/PRACTICE
The goal of the practicum is to broaden students' exposure to public health practice, facilitates valuable work experience, and increases students' knowledge of specific career opportunities. Practice placements are two semesters long and provide students with the opportunity to observe a public health professional in practice, complete a public health project that is mutually beneficial to the student and the organization, and synthesize knowledge and skills into public health practice. Students attend mandatory seminars where the principles and practices of public health are examined and students’ awareness of the needs, challenges, and career opportunities in the field are further broadened.

PHLT 751
PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE EXPERIENCE II: Seminar
3 CREDITS/100 HOURS/PRACTICE
This second course allows students to continue to link public health concepts and ideas presented in the classroom to real world experiences in the public health practice setting. Students learn public health program evaluation as well as focus on public health workforce development, leadership, professional development, and preparation for entry into the public health workforce. Students continue their practice experiences and complete their practicum in an underserved community setting. Seminar meetings are conducted in which students discuss their practicum projects and the continuing challenges of program development, evaluation, and implementation.

PHLT 752
PUBLIC HEALTH CAPSTONE I: SEMINAR
3 CREDITS/CAPSTONE
Part one of this two-part course sequence facilitates initial development and planning for the Master of Public Health (MPH) student’s Capstone thesis (also known as the culminating project). The culminating project is required for MPH programs by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Students conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence related to a public health issue, concern, or intervention over two semesters. Students begin their Capstone thesis during the first Capstone course (PHLT 752) and complete their thesis and present their corresponding scientific poster during the second course (PHLT 753). Students also complete a comprehensive examination that addresses their knowledge of the core public health competencies.

PHLT 753
PUBLIC HEALTH CAPSTONE II: SEMINAR
3 CREDITS/CAPSTONE
Part two of this two-part course sequence continues the development and brings to completion the Master of Public Health (MPH) Capstone thesis (also known as the culminating project). A culminating project is a required component in MPH programs by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Students complete their Capstone thesis and present their corresponding scientific poster in this final course.


Holly Harner, Ph.D.,  MPH, CRNP, WHCNP-BC
Holly Harner, Ph.D., MBA, MPH, CRNP, WHCNP-BC
Assistant Professor and Director

Master of Public Health Program
La Salle University
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1865
Fax 215.951.1896
E-mail: mph@lasalle.edu

La Salle University reserves the right to alter or change this information
at any time, without notice.

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