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Disease and Health Behaviors CREDITS: 3 FACULTY: Heidi Gortakowski, MPH, Clinical Instructor, College of Medicine Office: No campus office Email: Heidi.Gortakowski@gmail.com DESCRIPTION: Surveillance of infectious and non-infectious diseases, as well as health behaviors and population 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 outcomespecific 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 current surveillance 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 Federal systems. Because epidemiology is fundamental to all public health surveillance, the course will build on and reinforce basic epidemiologic concepts. Finally, students will have the opportunity to design and evaluate a surveillance system. This course will be taught online and utilize online discussions with assigned readings and questions specific to each issue. Course grading will include class participation (online discussions 40%), blog contributions (30%), and a surveillance evaluation paper (30%). READINGS: The main text for the course is Teutsch & Churchill. Principles and Practice of Public Health Surveillance. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. An optional text is Mark Pendergrast. Inside the Outbreaks-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. COURSE TOPICS: Module 1: The Basics - Overview, Objectives and Case Definitions Module 2: Traditional Data Sources - Vital Statistics and Reportable Diseases Module 3: Alternative and Complimentary Sources - Surveys and Social Media Module 4: Data Analysis and Dissemination Module 5: Evaluation of Surveillance Systems Module 6: Public Health Systems, Informatics and Data Management Module 7: Chronic Disease Surveillance Module 8: Risk Factor Surveillance Module 9: Tracking Cancer and Occupational Injuries Module 10: Disaster Surveillance - Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont Module 11: Health Care Related Infections and Influenza
Module 12: Tracking Foodborne Diseases Module 13: Communication, Advocacy and Public Policy QUESTIONS: Please write to Heidi Gortakowski at Heidi.Gortakowski@gmail.com