Family and Community Health Concentration

Course #TitleCompetenciesCredits
HK 675 Design and Analysis of Public Health Interventions (Spring) 1,2,3,4,5 3
Category A: Communications Selective (Choose 3 credits)
Fall Semester
COM 559 Current Trends in Mass Communication (Odd Fall) 1,3, 5 3
COM 576 Health Communication (Fall) 1,2,3,5 3
COM 676 Health Advocacy Campaigns (Odd Fall) 1,2,3,5 3
Spring Semester
COM 582 Cross-Cultural Communication (Spring) 1,2,4,5 3
COM 676 Interpersonal Health Communication (Even Spring) 2,3,5 3
CSR 590 Social Marketing for Health (Spring) 2,3,4,5 3
HK 590 Health Counseling (Spring) 2,5 3
Category B: Health Disparities and Determinants of Health Selectives (Choose 6 credits)
Fall Semester
CSR 561 Culture and Health (Fall) 1,2,3,4,5 3
CSR 590 International Health Seminar (Fall) 1,2,3,4,5 3
HDFS 590 Health in the Social Context (Fall) 1,3,4,5 3
CSR 590 Social Determinants of Health (Fall) 1,4 3
SOC 611 Social Inequality: Class, Race and Gender (Even Fall) 1,4 3
Spring Semester
CSR 590 Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations Seminar (Spring) 1,2,3,4,5 3
HDFS 685A Current Research in Childhood Obesity (Even Spring) 1,2,3,4,5 3
SOC 571 Health and Social Behavior (Spring) 1,3,4 3
CSR 590 Human Rights and Social Justice (Even Spring)
HDFS 629 Family and Couple Interventions in Health Problems (Spring) 1,2,3,4 3
Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters
HK 590 Public Health Research in the Latino Community (Fall, Spring, Summer) 1,2,3,4,5 3
Category C: Family and Community Health Electives (Optional)
NUTR 430 Public Health Nutrition (Spring) 1,2,3,4,5 2
NUTR 590 World Food Problems 1,2,3,4,5 3
NUTR 612 Obesity: Behavior, Physiology and Policy (Even Fall) 1,2,3,5 2
NUTR 634 Nutrition and Cancer Prevention 1 2
Healthcare Systems
SOC 572 Comparative Healthcare Systems (Fall) 1,2,3,4,5 3
SOC 573 The Human Side of Medicine (Fall) 1,2,4 3
SOC 574 The Social Organization of Healthcare (Spring) 1,4,5 3

Guidelines: For the family and community health concentration, plans of study must include HK 675, Design and Analysis of Public Health Interventions, and three credits from category A and six credits from category B. The remaining three credits can be from categories A, B or C. Additionally, all family and community health competencies must be thoroughly covered. 

CSR 561 — Culture and Health

Culture and health are intimately related. The understanding of health in different communities depends on their own unique narratives, beliefs and meanings. These influence the way communities go about producing and consuming health. Hunger, poverty, structural violence, inequalities, lack of work, exploitation, consumerism, migration, ethno-physiology, diets, nutrition, spirit, healing, etc., all find their place in the community’s conceptualization of health. Since culture is a meaning making process and as human beings we live in those socially constructed webs of meanings, it is essential to understand and examine the relationships between culture and health. These understandings are important for us to advance social change, especially in underserved, marginalized populations who are rendered invisible in our discourses. This course, Culture and Health, aims to inspire thinking on these matters and work toward developing theory-based health interventions. Issues discussed in class will include food insecurity, mental health, AIDS, unhealthy eating, cancer, drug use, cardiovascular diseases, sexual abuse and domestic violence. 

CSR 590 — Social Determinants of Health

Our social environment is widely recognized for playing a critical role in shaping our patterns of health and vulnerability to diseases. Who we are, where we were born, grew up, live, work and age are all key determinants to our current and future health. Understanding the processes through which social environment influences our health has become an important question across medical and social science fields. This course will explore key social determinants of health, including: socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, neighborhood environments, social relationships and political economy. Mechanisms through which these factors are hypothesized to influence health, such as stress and access to health resources and constraints, will be discussed. An overarching theme of the course will be how social factors that adversely affect health are inequitably distributed, contributing to marked health disparities. This is the first course in a series on health disparities and inequities.  

CSR 590 — International Health Seminar

An introduction to public health priorities from an international perspective, recognizing the interdependent nature of health promotion and disease prevention issues across diverse regions and populations. Examines population health determinants, contrasting industrialized and developing countries and how these influence health goals established by public health institutions, such as the World Health Organization, philanthropic foundations and governmental agencies. 

CSR 590 — Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations Seminar

This intensive course will provide an introduction to the principles and practices of health disparities research. It will identify and explore the multifarious origins of health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations. The students will learn about understanding and analyzing health disparities from a theoretical lens and also interventions; learn about the various determinants of health disparities in minority and vulnerable populations, including biological and non-biological determinants of health disparities. The students will be able to identify demographic and epidemiological patterns in health status by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status and place. They will also examine theories explaining racial and ethnic disparities in health, specifically in minority and vulnerable groups. The seminar will also help them identify conceptual models and frameworks for reducing/eliminating health disparities. The seminar is framed to explore health disparities primarily in the U.S. context but will also discuss global examples.

CSR 590 — Social Marketing for Health

Healthy lifestyle impacts people’s quality of life at the individual and population level. Social marketing, as a process, applies marketing principles and techniques to benefit the target audience and the society through its approach for developing programs to promote healthy behaviors. This course aims to equip learners the knowledge, skills, and technologies for organizing and implementing effective health programs. It adopts more learner-focused activities in order to engage students in active learning. The delivery entails readings, case studies and a final project that students will venture into crafting a health-related marketing campaign. Students are assigned to groups of 3-4 students for cultivating their team and interdisciplinary work ethics. 

NUTR 430 — Public Health Nutrition

Assessment of nutritional needs of the community and the programs that service these needs. 

NUTR 612 — Obesity: Behavior, Physiology and Policy

The topics in this course provide a firm conceptual foundation for graduate students interested in issues related to obesity. Topics include issues ranging from molecular to policy: there is a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and critical thinking as it is a goal to integrate the sophisticated analyses of the physiological, nutritional, developmental, genetic, sensory, socio-economic, and experiential determinants of food and fluid intake. In addition, topics in this course such as health implications of obesity, epidemiology of obesity, endocrine, energy metabolism/integration, and neurochemistry will provide the opportunity for greater interdisciplinary collaborations. 

NUTR 634 — Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

The goal of this course is to give you an overview of the principles of cancer biology and cancer prevention, to identify approaches to study the role of specific nutrients or bioactive compounds in molecular pathogenesis of cancer, and to discuss existing research on the influence of dietary factors on cancer disease risk. 

HDFS 590 — Health in the Social Context

Social ties and interactions with close social partners and association with individual health, management of disease, and psychological well-being are covered. This course reviews research on social ties and health from a multidisciplinary perspective.

HDFS 629 — Family and Couple Interventions in Health Problems

This course addresses issues in behavioral and family interventions and research methodologies in health problems. Students will develop expertise in family and health theories and interventions, randomized clinical trial methodology, intervention research in healthcare settings, assessment of health and healthcare outcomes, models of patient-centered care and adherence issues, and how to obtain funding for randomized clinical trials for family interventions in healthcare. 

HDFS 685A — Current Research in Childhood Obesity

This course is intended to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge about the development, implementation, and effectiveness of various obesity prevention and intervention strategies. The course will cover topics associated with obesity, such as nutrition, physical activity, sleep, family routines, media use, work-family issues, poverty, stress and culture. The goal of the course is not only to address the theoretical and substantive issues related to child obesity research, but also to develop and strengthen the professional skills of future researchers in the area of child, family and public health.

SOC 571 — Health and Social Behavior

A sociological examination of health and illness that emphasizes the patient and his or her relations to others. Considers the distribution of illness, stress, health and illness behavior, patient-practitioner relationships, and treatment modes.

SOC 572 — Comparative Healthcare Systems

Using cost, quality and access to care as core concepts, this course explores healthcare in comparative context. Special topics are health and gender, the environment, epidemics, long-term care, technology, and rationing, among others.

SOC 573 — The Human Side of Medicine

Focuses on sociological theory and research related to social conflicts over the delivery of healthcare in the U.S. Considers social issues pertaining to abortion, AIDS, human experimentation, reproductive technologies, euthanasia and others.

SOC 574 — The Social Organization of Healthcare

Analysis of the determinants and consequences of the social organization of medical care. Considers morbidity and mortality, costs and utilization of medical services, healthcare occupations and institutions, and change in programs and policies.

SOC 611 — Social Inequality: Class, Race and Gender

Survey of major approaches (functional, status attainment, labor market, class, culture) to the sociological study of inequality, including qualitative and quantitative, historical, and comparative studies. Students will be asked to complete a project analyzing inequality, which might provide the basis for a publishable paper.

COM 559 — Current Trends in Mass Communication Research

An examination of current research as it contributes to understanding the process and effects of mass communication. Topics covered include gatekeepers and information control, audience selection processes and uses of the media, persuasive effects of the media, media content and social learning, the effects of adult programming on children, and the effects of the media on the governmental process.

COM 576 — Health Communication

Survey of health communication theory and research. Examines issues such as patient-provider and everyday communication, broader community-societal discourse, and organizational and mass health communication. Prepares participants for subsequent specialized seminars and enriched study in allied specialties.

COM 676 — Interpersonal Communication

This course is designed as an introduction to several aspects of interpersonal health communication. The majority of the semester will cover aspects of the provider-patient interaction, including how this relationship has evolved, emergence and goals of patient-centered care, and factors that affect patient and provider communication during the medical interaction. We will also touch on patient and partner/loved one communication surrounding difficult topics such as cancer and family reproduction.

COM 676 — Health Advocacy Campaigns

This course considers how federal, state, and local policy influence health status and health improvement. Through the course students will gain an understanding of the role of health communication campaigns in health advocacy efforts. To engage their understanding, students will apply an advocacy campaign model to address a health issue.

HK 590 — Health Counseling

This graduate public health course examines methods used by public health professionals to effectively facilitate healthy behavior change in individuals and selected populations. Among the topics presented in this course include: health risk appraisal, effective communication techniques, behavioral monitoring and change assessment. Students will examine contemporary research and case studies using motivational interviewing and cognitive behavior interventions.

HK 590 — Public Health Research in the Latino Community

Students will work with Dr. Ruiz to carry out public health research in the area of health disparities among Latinos with a particular emphasis on Latino youth and their families. Research activities will explore factors that affect the decision-making process such as availability of resources, life events (i.e., migration), living patterns, intentions, beliefs, expectations, self-efficacy, attitudes of families, and external forces such as public policies and programs. Students roles and responsibilities might include conducting literature reviews, recruiting participants, collecting and analyzing data, attending project meetings, and assisting in preparing reports, articles, and presentations.

HK 675 — Design And Analysis Of Public Health Interventions

Addresses professional competencies in design, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of health interventions in community settings. Program planning paradigms, determinants of health behavior, and behavior change strategies serve as a basis for analyzing health interventions. 

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