Principles of Public Health introduces the major concepts of public health and the determinants of health status in communities. The course emphasizes the ecological model that focuses on the linkages and relationships among multiple natural and social determinants affecting health. As a relative concept, the health of populations is assessed through comparisons of temporal, spatial, and demographic dimensions of disease burden. The goal of public health is to understand why and how different populations carry different kinds and amounts of disease burden, and to use that knowledge for improving health by preventing disease.
Students in the course will explore successful examples in public health, including how scientific discoveries and regulatory policies have both contributed to mitigate risk factors and improve health outcomes. How socioeconomic and cultural factors modify the effectiveness of risk intervention and disease prevention strategies. How individual actions and collective initiatives play important roles in determining the status of health. In addition, how the various methodological approaches that guide discoveries in public health have been applied from the local scale to the global level.