The University of VermontPH315Public Health SurveillanceBrief SyllabusCOURSE:
PH315 Public Health Surveillance - Tracking Disease and Health Behaviors
Heidi Gortakowski, MPH, Clinical Instructor, College of Medicine
No campus office
Surveillance of infectious and non-infectious diseases, as well as health behaviors andpopulation characteristics, is fundamental to nearly all fields of modern public health practice. By definition,public health surveillance is the “ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice (CDC/ ATSDR).In this course, we will cover a brief history of surveillance before identifying and critiquing currentsurveillance systems. To understand the practice of surveillance, we will examine many examples of surveillance systems from the developed and developing world with emphasis on U.S. State and Federalsystems. Because epidemiology is fundamental to all public health surveillance, the course will build on andreinforce basic epidemiologic concepts. Finally, students will have the opportunity to design and evaluate asurveillance system.This course will be taught online and utilize online discussions with assigned readings and questionsspecific to each issue. Course grading will include class participation (online discussions 40%), blogcontributions (30%), and a surveillance evaluation paper (30%).
The main text for the course is Teutsch & Churchill.
Principles and Practice of Public HealthSurveillance
. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. An optional text is Mark Pendergrast.
Inside theOutbreaks-The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service
. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,2010. In addition, readings will include a variety of journal articles and websites.
Module 1: The Basics - Overview, Objectives and Case DefinitionsModule 2: Traditional Data Sources - Vital Statistics and Reportable DiseasesModule 3: Alternative and Complimentary Sources - Surveys and Social MediaModule 4: Data Analysis and DisseminationModule 5: Evaluation of Surveillance SystemsModule 6: Public Health Systems, Informatics and Data ManagementModule 7: Chronic Disease SurveillanceModule 8: Risk Factor SurveillanceModule 9: Tracking Cancer and Occupational InjuriesModule 10: Disaster Surveillance - Tropical Storm Irene in VermontModule 11: Health Care Related Infections and Influenza