The mission of the Health Policy focus is to serve as an intellectual and practice-oriented community in the Nation’s capital dedicated to advancing innovative and effective health policy education, research and service to improve public health and health services domestically and globally.
Goals of Health Policy
Students of this focus will gain the skills necessary to become effective public health practitioners and leaders. The focus in health policy provides education in the substance of health policy, and health policy analysis, with a strong focus on communication and leadership. Their specific expertise in the strategic use of communication and marketing tools will enable them to work collaboratively with a broad range of other public health experts to plan high-impact health enhancement initiatives, and to implement or supervise the implementation of the communication and marketing components of public health initiatives.
Health Policy Degrees
Students that are interested in a health policy degree should explore the health policy focus area offered through the online Master of Public Health program, MPH@GW.
Health Policy Careers
Public health policy careers range from positions in congressional offices and federal agencies, to advocacy and trade associations. Policy positions are robust in think tanks, in health care systems, and in local, state and global policy organizations as well.
PubH 6099: Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
This course has been designed to give students a practical overview of key sexual and reproductive health challenges in low- and middle-income countries and insight into how to design and measure programs to address those challenges (namely family planning, abortion, maternal health and gender-based violence). We have developed the course from the perspective of applied researchers working within an organization that implements sexual and reproductive health programs and services. The course is structured in three sections. Section 1 provides an overview of sexual and reproductive health conditions relevant for low- and middle-income countries. Section 2 discusses intervention strategies appropriate to these sexual and reproductive challenges. The final section covers monitoring and evaluation approaches to assess program effectiveness and impact in this field. Reading and coursework will provide students with practical tools to design and measure their own program strategies. Students will complete a series of assignments building to a final project proposal designed to address a specific sexual and reproductive health problem in a county of their choosing. These assignments will make use of foundational skills developed in previous MPH@GW coursework identified in the course prerequisites.
PubH 6530, Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
This course is intended to provide an introduction to qualitative data collection and analysis for public health practice and research. The course introduces the philosophy, goals, and basic methods of qualitative research as applied in public health (e.g., in behavioral research, health communications development, program development, program evaluation, and health policy). Through readings, lectures, and short field exercises, students will become acquainted with the set of methods most commonly used to collect and analyze qualitative data. Data collection techniques will include in-depth interviewing, mapping, participant observation, focus groups, and systematic methods of qualitative data collection. After completing the course students will be able to prepare an interview guide, conduct an in-depth interview, and analyze and write up the results from a qualitative project.
PubH 6335, Public Health and Law
Designed for students in the health professions and law, this course examines how law can both promote public health and conflict with the constitutionally protected rights of individuals. It introduces the legal concepts that underlie the public health system and inform public health policy making in the United States. Topics to be covered include the role of law in public health care and policy (e.g., governmental powers vs. civil liberties, regulation of public health); major areas of public health activity (e.g., health promotion, immunization, screening, and treatment); and the future of public health.
PubH 6399, Global Health Diplomacy
This course introduces students to the concept of Global Health Diplomacy, starting with historical case studies of how diplomacy has been used to advance health agendas, and conversely, how health issues have been used to improve diplomatic relations between countries. We introduce students to formal health diplomacy, multi-stakeholder health diplomacy and informal health diplomacy, and provide comparative studies of how different countries have devised health diplomacy strategies. This course will challenge students to read and interpret health related agreements, negotiate a position, and assess the policy context while trying to advance a health agenda.
PubH 6056: Leadership Seminar
This course provides students with the opportunity to learn leadership lessons from the careers of a diverse group of leaders who are successful executives and entrepreneurs from multiple sectors, including corporate, government, nonprofit and the arts. It will present the chance to discuss and reflect on leadership styles, provide exposure to leadership theory, assist in the development of effective networking skills, and prepare students for effectively engaging with their peers, personal network, potential employers and business partners. The Leadership Seminar deliberately provides a unique setting for students to consider themselves as leaders in their personal lives and their careers.
PubH 6368, Law, Medicine and Ethics
This course explores legal, ethical, and policy issues that arise in the biomedical arena. We address controversial and challenging questions concerning, inter alia, the definitions of life and death, the nature of personal identity, the requirements of justice, and the boundaries of liberty. We will draw on legal, medical, and ethical/philosophical literature in examining these issues. Prerequisite: PUBH 6335 or instructor permission.
Electives are typically offered every other term. Some electives are offered in Spring 1/Summer terms, while others are offered in Spring 2/Fall terms.