Course Descriptions

Courses listed below are from the 2021 Public Health Institute. Please stay tuned for our 2022 Public Health Institute courses that will be running from May 16-June 3, 2022.

Week 1 — May 17 – May 21, 2021

Gillian Tarr & Angie Ulrich

PUBH 7230 Section 101 Class #85837
May 17 (9 am-12 pm)
May 18, 19, 21 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

This course explores public health strategies for managing pandemics with an emphasis on lessons learned from the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The course is organized into 4 modules that illustrate key components of response to an emerging infectious disease threat: preparation, containment, suppression/mitigation, and vaccination.

Katherine Arlinghaus

PUBH 7200 Section 101 Class #85817
May 17 (9 am-12 pm)
May 18, 19, 21 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

The purpose of this overview course is to examine the role schools play in child health and wellbeing, with an emphasis on obesity prevention and treatment. As the COVID-19 pandemic has recently highlighted, schools play many roles in children’s lives outside of direct academic instruction including the provision of healthy meals, safe space to be physically active, opportunities for social interaction and development, consistent routines, mental health care, and connections to social services and clinical health care. Course content will emphasize the interconnectedness between America’s educational system and public health. Strengths and areas for improvement of school health will be identified and discussed. Central to the materials and course discussions will be consideration of how health disparities can be addressed through the school setting. The course will provide a mixture of online lecture/class discussion (via Zoom), media viewing, critical thinking assignments and reflection, and relevant journal articles.

Tim Hanson

PUBH 6431 Section 101 Class #87727
May 17 (9 am-12 pm)
May 18, 19, 21 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Hierarchical Bayesian methods combine information from various sources and are increasingly used in biomedical and public health settings to accommodate complex data and produce readily interpretable output. This course will introduce students to Bayesian methods, emphasizing the basic methodological framework, real-world applications, and practical computing.

Ruby Nguyen

PUBH 7200 Section 102 Class #85818
May 17 (9 am-12 pm)
May 18, 19, 21 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Culturally-specific knowledge assists in generating effective prevention and intervention strategies. The health of Asians in America is often overlooked and understudied. In this course the epidemiology of the leading causes of disease and their relevant exposures among Asians in the U.S. will be introduced, with specific emphasis on Asians in Minnesota. We will discuss the need for, and barriers related to, disaggregated ethnic epidemiologic data. Community-based interventions and programs that may reduce the rates of prevalent diseases will be incorporated. Local Asian community leaders will be guest discussants in class. Specific health topics will include: Hepatitis B virus, cigarette smoking, cervical cancer, mental health, and violence against women. Assignments will include short written assignments, creation of a fact sheet on a topic chosen by the student, and a class presentation. No letter grades will be given. All students are welcome, however this course is most relevant to those in public health or related health disciplines, public policy, and social services.

Kirk Smith

PUBH 7200 Section 103 Class #85819
May 17, 18, 19 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 21 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

This course will provide an overview of foodborne pathogens in the United States. Students will become familiar with the natural history and epidemiology of important foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella enterica, E. coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Campylobacter, Norovirus, Shigella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, Hepatitis A virus, Toxoplasma gondii, Clostridium botulinum, and others. This will include clinical presentations, reservoirs, modes of transmission, specific food vehicles, factors that contribute to contamination, proliferation, and survival on food, and measures to prevent or reduce infection.

Ben Miller

PUBH 7200 Section 104 Class #85820
May 17, 18, 19 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 21 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

The recent legalization and decriminalization of cannabis in number of states in the United States has created varied regulatory approaches among states and the federal government.  At least a dozen states have legalized “adult-use” cannabis for recreational purposes, more than 30 states have legalized cannabis for medical use, and the federal government has legalized the growth and processing of industrial hemp.  While cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC by dry weight is still federally illegal, these new state and federal laws have created new markets across the United States with consumers accessing pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, foods, vape cartridges, topicals, and other products that contain THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid containing products.  Regulatory oversight of these products varies widely among states and the potential risks to public health are largely unknown or just starting to emerge.  This course will examine the current state of policy and regulatory oversight of cannabis in the United States through a lens of potential public health hazards and risks.  Students will learn about the current and emerging regulatory systems in states that have legalized cannabis as well as the federal government’s recent legalization of industrial hemp and will have the opportunity to conduct case studies into a specific topic of interest.

Anne Barry & Joel Wu

PUBH 6711 Section 101 Class #85618
May 17, 18, 19 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 21 (1 pm-4 pm)
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
2 Credit or 30 CE contact hours

This course will address basic concepts of public health law and the legal bases for the existence and administration of public health programs. Balancing the legal aspects of current public health issues, controversies, individual rights and the regulatory role of government in health service system will be considered.

Cheryl Robertson

PUBH 7242 Section 101 Class #87730
May 17, 18, 19 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 21 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Public health problems associated with armed conflict will be examined from an interdisciplinary perspective with emphasis on analyzing the complexities. Content will include consequences of mass displacement, effects on community and family, women’s roles and experiences, trauma and healing.  Health intervention strategies will be explored and critiqued. Seminar discussion format.

Week 2 — May 24 – May 28, 2021

William Toscano

PUBH 7262 Section 101 Class #85676
May 24 (9 am-12 pm)
May 25, 26, 28 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Global health concerns cross the borders of developed and developing nations. This class will focus on the effect of globalization on social and scientific consequences in public health. Topics will include the interplay between global stressors such as population, war, economics, urbanization and environment and their effects on the health of women and children, the spread of infectious and chronic diseases, nutrition and environmental health.

Cheryl Petersen-Kroeber

PUBH 7227 Section 101 Class #87731
May 24 (9 am-12 pm)
May 25, 26, 28 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

Almost any disruption to a community impacts the public’s health. This course is designed to provide public health professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage personnel and resources in an emergency incident. This course will provide an overview of how the standardized ICS system is applied within the context of public health. During disasters, public health has a responsibility not only to respond to specific public health threats but also to ensure that essential public health services are maintained for the affected community. The incident management system provides a formalized and common method of management practices applicable in virtually any setting. By understanding incident management systems, public health professionals will be better prepared to lead their agency’s response in crisis situations where interaction with other local, state, tribal, and federal partners is crucial. The health professional’s ability to understand and apply incident management system techniques is a core competency for public health leaders. This course is not a substitute for required National Incident Management System training courses, it is intended to demonstrate how the use of the incident command system can be used by public health partners.

Kumi Smith & Sam Robertson

PUBH 7200 Section 105 Class #85821
May 24 (9 am-12 pm)
May 25, 26, 28 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

The drug overdose crisis is one of the most pressing public health issues in the US today. The staggering rate of deaths attributed to opioid overdose has received wide attention from the media and general public. Yet the origins of our current opioid crisis is rooted in America’s long and complicated relationship with chemical substances. This course explores the social, medical, and cultural aspects of the modern American substance use phenomenon. An social and structural determinants framework will be used to examine the public health impact of substance use disorder on individuals and communities. The course will open with a review of the history and epidemiology of the substance use epidemic in the US. Students will then learn the fundamentals of physiological and psychological aspects of chemical dependency, including addiction treatment options. Lastly the class will examine the public health data used to describe population level substance use, including common misinterpretations of the data. The course will also feature guest speakers from clinical medicine and with personal experience of substance use disorder to broaden insights from both clinical and experiential perspectives. The course will feature a mixture of in-class lectures, readings, an in- class lab on the use of epidemiologic data, and a final project to impart a more contextual, nuanced, and in-depth understanding of substance use in modern America.

Carolyn Porta

PUBH 7257 Section 101 Class #85748
May 24 (9 am-12 pm)
May 25, 26, 28 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

You’ve conducted key informant interviews, or a series of focus groups. Now what? How do you reflect the participants’ individual opinions and perspectives in your analysis while at the same time draw some collective conclusions? Is it possible to analyze qualitative data objectively? Do you need to use qualitative software? What is the best way to present qualitative data to different audiences? How can you collaboratively analyze qualitative data with community partners?

This course will provide discourse and some answers to the questions above, for currently employed professionals and students completing an advanced degree. The course is intended for students who plan to collect and analyze qualitative data, including those employed in public health, private, and non-profit agencies. Whether the data are collected to describe a problem, evaluate a program, or inform an intervention, the principles and challenges of analysis remain the same. This course will provide opportunity for analyzing and working with qualitative data from a variety of data collection methods and using multiple analysis approaches. Students are encouraged to bring any existing data they have as there may be opportunities in class to discuss and work with the data.

Scott Wells

PUBH 7235 Section 101 Class #85735
May 24 (9 am-12 pm)
May 25, 26, 28 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

This course will explore surveillance issues related to zoonotic pathogens in animals, using a case-study approach focused on selected zoonotic pathogens of ruminants. Students will learn concepts related to animal disease surveillance and methods to prevent and control zoonotic diseases from a One Health perspective. The case study approach will provide real-world examples for evaluating public health surveillance systems. A group assignment to address specific issues related to surveillance zoonotic pathogens will provide a final opportunity to assess learning gained.

CANCELLED
Jeff Bender & Jenna Rasmusson 

PUBH 7200 Section 112 Class #85828
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

Infection control practices can greatly reduce hospital-associated infections. The goal of infection prevention is to protect the patient and protect the caregiver and visitors in a cost-effective manner. This course will provide participants with an overview of contemporary infection prevention and control practices for a variety of settings. This includes an understanding of the role of an infection preventionist and their daily duties. This will include an understanding of standard precautions and current guidelines to protect healthcare workers and patients. These principles can be applied broadly in varying settings including hospitals, clinics, veterinary clinics, locally and globally.

This course is intended for public health, nursing, dental, pharmacy and veterinary students interested in infection control principles in varied clinic settings.

Peter Larsen

PUBH 7230 Section 102 Class #85838
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

The prion theory of disease postulates that misfolded proteins are the infectious agents of a number of neurodegenerative conditions collectively identified as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). Although initially surrounded by controversy, a growing body of evidence now supports the hypothesis that infectious prion molecules can spread within a given host, leading to irreversible neurodegenerative conditions. Remarkably, misfolded prion proteins are highly resistant to degradation and can remain infectious within a given environment for years. This course is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the prion theory and of the variety of TSEs that impact both humans (e.g., Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease) and animals (e.g., Chronic Wasting Disease of deer). Course material and guest lectures will address key questions including: What is a prion and how does it become infectious? Which TSEs are of concern from a One Health perspective? How long can infectious prions survive in a given environment and how can they be destroyed? We will also discuss recent advances for TSE diagnostic tools and potential therapeutics. Assignments will include: a group analysis and presentation focused on lessons learned from the 1980’s BSE outbreak in the United Kingdom and the development of a 2-page information sheet on a TSE of the student’s choosing. No letter grades will be given. All students are welcome.

Amenah A. Agunwamba

PUBH 7200 Section 113 Class #85829
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

New communication channels and media have significantly changed the information environment, providing innovative ways for patients and communities to consume, exchange, and interact with information from sources all over the world. With these developments, come challenges and opportunities for public health professionals to serve as leading sources of health information.

The primary objective of this course will be to provide students with an overview on fundamental topics in health communication, with a focus on integrating theory, research methods, and key strategies to develop effective health communication interventions. This course will cover health communication functions, mechanisms, and methods to impact behavior change throughout populations, while defining the roles of patient-physician communication, mass media communication, health education and health literacy, policy and advocacy, and finally, technology and eMedicine. This course will be very interactive through critical examination of health messages in the media and through discussion of current events relevant to health communication. Students will apply research methods and communication strategies in Opinion Editorials, the development of a PSA script, and the development of a proposal for a theory informed health communication intervention. Ultimately, this course will equip leaders in public health to critically evaluate and address important community health issues – engaging, empowering, and influencing people through communication.

Effective health communication during a pandemic plays a crucial role in the prevention and control of disease. This course will address some of the major communication challenges that health care providers and public health leaders are facing during the current COVID-19 crisis, in real time. We will consider risk and emergency risk communication frameworks that have been previously developed by the WHO and the CDC to address outbreaks, and identify tools and strategies to developing emergency communication responses at multiple levels of influence. In a media saturated world, we will also have a frank conversation about how to navigate misinformation surrounding COVID-19, and how to develop strategies to counter misinformation in the public arena. Finally, we will integrate and apply communication theory and evidence-based methods to develop a PSA; students will choose between targeting COVID-19 vaccination or racial injustices and health.

Amira Adawe

PUBH 7200 Section 106 Class #85822
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

This course will provide understanding of environmental justice, policy and practice in the US and some of the global policy impacts. The students will learn the concepts of environmental justice including environmental racism, social determinants, health, safety, race, and culture, communities, and systems and policies, assessing environmental risks. Students will have opportunity to examine complex issues using equity, social justice and community participatory lenses. The course will also examine existing and emerging issues of environmental justice including different sources of chemical exposures from skin-lightening products and other sources, in home exposure of mercury and lead, the association between reproductive and early childhood health with chemical exposures, air pollution, beauty products environmental impacts, regulation, systems and policy changes.

Kate Carlson & Peter Wiringa

PUBH 7253 Section 101 Class #85726
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

This course is an introduction to the concepts and uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Lecture topics include GIS data structures, sources of data, GIS tools, vendors and software, health- related GIS applications, and resources. Through a combination of presentations and hands-on exercises, participants will learn and apply basic GIS concepts and the fundamentals of spatial analysis. Hands-on exercises include spatial data display and query, map generation, field data collection, and simple spatial analysis using ArcGIS software. Students will be required to apply GIS concepts, assigned readings, and project development principles to create their own GIS project model.This course is designed for participants who have not had experience working with GIS software or applications; however, participants should have some experience with spreadsheets.

Anne Barry & Joel Wu

PUBH 6711 Section 101 Class #85618
May 17, 18, 19 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 21 (1 pm-4 pm)
May 24, 25, 26 (1 pm-5 pm)
May 28 (1 pm-4 pm)
2 Credit or 30 CE contact hours

This course will address basic concepts of public health law and the legal bases for the existence and administration of public health programs. Balancing the legal aspects of current public health issues, controversies, individual rights and the regulatory role of government in health service system will be considered.

Week 3 — June 1 – June 4, 2021

Dominic Travis & Michael Mahero

PUBH 7200 Section 108 Class #85824
June 1 (9 am-12 pm)
June 2, 3, 4 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

The term One Health has been all the rage since its reinvigoration in 2009. The One Health Commission states that “One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national, and global levels – to achieve optimal health and well-being outcomes recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment.”

Thus, One Health is both an aspirational goal and proposed as a “way” of doing business. Unfortunately, there is no textbook that enables easy access to “the way” of conducting One Health research, education or service and outreach.  Thus, we are often left asking: how can one employ this approach, how do you do it, and how do we evaluate and improve it?  This course will examine one health philosophy, theory, methods and practice.  We will examine case studies and ask the question “when is the way of one health a solution, and when may it NOT be”? The culminating experience will be a case-based scenario in one health practice and implementation.

Craig Hedberg

PUBH 7200 Section 109 Class #85825
June 1 (9 am-12 pm)
June 2, 3, 4 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Foodborne illnesses are an important public health concern. Ensuring the safety of foods in commercial distribution and at the point of service are major activities for food producing and food service industries and food regulators.  This course will explore food safety challenges posed by major food pathogens and explore the role of food and environmental sampling in prevention and control of foodborne illnesses. The course will survey sampling methods, laboratory testing methods and the development of statistical sampling plans.

Joseph Gaugler & Tetyana Shippee

PUBH 7200 Section 107 Class #85823
June 1 (9 am-12 pm)
June 2, 3, 4 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours
S/N only

The objective of this course is to obtain a broad understanding of the multidisciplinary perspectives, theoretical underpinnings, and advancements in the study of aging (i.e., “gerontology”). Students will review the theoretical foundations and state-of-the-art in science and practice of the following inter-related domains: clinical geriatrics; psychology of aging; sociology of aging; and policy of aging.

Jeff Bender, Tanya Bailey and Pamela Schreiner

PUBH 7200 Section 110 Class #85826
June 1 (9 am-12 pm)
June 2, 3, 4 (8 am-12 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

This course will outline public health issues surrounding interactions with companion animals and pet ownership. Students will become familiar with the types of human-animal interactions (e.g. therapy dog programs) and the benefits of companion animal ownership. Students will become aware of common zoonotic risks and prevention practices. In addition, students will be able to describe newly emerging disease issues involving companion animals (i.e. MRSA and canine influenza). Students will recognize the importance of pets in emerging disease surveillance, disaster planning and response, and human wellness programs.

Lauren Gilchrist

PUBH 7200 Section 111 Class #85827
June 1, 2, 3 (1 pm-5 pm)
June 4 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of current public health policy issues that impact children and families. The course will focus on how public policy and advocacy can be used to improve the public health of children and families, with a focus on state-level policies. Students develop practical skills to understand, analyze, communicate, and advocate for public health policies.

Julian Wolfson

PUBH 7264 Section 101 Class #87822
June 1, 2, 3 (1 pm-5 pm)
June 4 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

In this course, you will learn how to manipulate data and prepare basic visualizations using the statistical software R. While the tools and techniques taught will be generic, many of the examples will be drawn from biomedicine and public health.

Jerica Berge

PUBH 6060 Section 101 Class #85803
June 1, 2, 3 (1 pm-5 pm)
June 4 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Even when individuals want to give up addictive behaviors, adopt healthier behaviors or follow a chronic disease treatment regimen, they often have a difficult time doing so. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence. This course is designed to introduce participants to the theoretical basis of the MI style and to help them begin to acquire skills and strategies for using the MI style in diverse contexts (clinic, community program, research) and relative to diverse behavioral issues (additions, healthy lifestyle behaviors, chronic disease adherence). With brief background lectures on the theoretical basis of MI and empirical evidence of its efficacy, class sessions will emphasize demonstration and practice of MI skills and strategies.

Gilbert Patterson

PUBH 7200 Section 114 Class #87867
June 1, 2, 3 (1 pm-5 pm)
June 4 (1 pm-4 pm)
1 Credit or 15 CE contact hours

Transboundary animal diseases (TADs) are highly contagious epidemic diseases that have broad reaching implications for human and animal health. These diseases spread rapidly, are irrespective of national borders, and have resulted in some of the most high profile international crises in recent memory. While much of One Health focuses on zoonotic diseases and their impact, it is imperative that transboundary animal diseases are also recognized for their impact on the health and wellbeing of humans, animals, and the environment. These diseases cause high rates of death and disease in animals, and have severe socio-economic and public health implications. Some of these include depriving communities of livelihoods and nutrition, psychological trauma, animal welfare challenges, disruption of ingrained cultural norms, and environmental damage. Globalization, land encroachment and climate change contribute to outbreaks of such animal diseases, creating a constant threat to public health throughout the world.

This course will provide an overview of transboundary and emerging animal and zoonotic diseases, their routes of introduction and spread, and the role of state, national, and international agencies in controlling these diseases. Some of these diseases will include those that are transmissible to humans – Such as COVID 19, brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, parasitic illnesses, anthrax, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and influenza viruses. Other high impact diseases to be covered include African Swine Fever, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, peste des petits, and MERS. The global distribution and prevalence of these diseases will be described and analyzed from a One Health perspective. Special focus and discussion will be dedicated to examining the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the specific impacts of this public health crisis during the present and into the future.

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