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Crisis and Response in Public Health Policy and Practice

Course Status

3rd Term
Health Policy and Management
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year

Introduction to Online Learning

Much of public health happens below the radar screen ... until there is a crisis. Then, what happens matters greatly not only for the situation at hand, but for the critical changes do -- or do not -- follow. The pandemic exemplified how much crisis response matters to the ability of health agencies to protect their populations and advance equity. Take this course to appreciate the history, tools, and strategy involved with crisis response.
Studies the phenomenon of crises in public health. Demonstrates, from a historical perspective, how many core elements of U.S. public health policy traces back to crises and responses that riveted public attention. Reviews key elements of crisis response: recognizing a crisis, managing the crisis, communication and politics, and pivoting to prevent the next crisis. Explores, from a strategic perspective, how health officials effectively manage crisis and response in order to win significant policy advances.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the central role of crises in the development of food and medical product regulation in the United States
  2. Analyze key elements of effective and ineffective day-to-day responses to crises at the local, state, national, and global levels
  3. Articulate how public health leaders can manage existing crises effectively to win significant, long-term policy advances
  4. Communicate public health science to diverse stakeholders, including individuals at all levels of health literacy, for purposes of influencing behavior and policies
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 10% Participation
  • 30% Final Exam
  • 60% Paper(s)
Enrollment Restriction
Priority given to DrPH students