Public Health-Health Ethics, Advocacy, and Leadership

The field of public health is dedicated to promoting and safeguarding the health of people and the environments they live in. Willamette’s degree program focuses on affecting health outcomes for populations and communities through the lenses of equity, advocacy and leadership. Willamette graduates will be prepared to assess public health patterns, devise ethical and equitable interventions, and advocate for meaningful change in whatever sphere they choose. Furthermore, their knowledge of public health will be grounded in a well-rounded exploration of human behavior and experience across multiple disciplines, including anthropology, environmental science, statistics, and graduate classes in the College of Law and Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

Effective public health practice is predicated on careful, well-informed and ethical data collection, analysis and communications that address the political, social, economic and behavioral causes of disease, as well as other threats to human health. At Willamette, students learn the fundamental concepts, theories and ethics of public health, and they develop the communication skills, cultural competencies and broad perspectives essential to ensuring that public health interventions and programs are well planned and implemented. Willamette helps students build holistic knowledge and skills essential to public health through our interdisciplinary major, which combines a rigorous core with flexible electives and an emphasis on experiential learning.

Our Health Ethics, Advocacy and Leadership program in Public Health offers a route to careers for students with interests as diverse as public policy, education, communications, counseling and management. It also serves as excellent preparation for students with career interests in many clinical health areas.

 

Requirements for the Public Health Major (11 Credits)

Core Courses (5)

  • PHEAL 101 Introduction to Public Health (1)
  • EXHS 221 Epidemiology (1)
  • PHEAL 301 Public Health Ethics (1)
  • One Quantitative and/or Spatial Methods, chosen from:
    • BIOL 113 Disease Epidemics (1)
    • BIOL 342 Biostatistics (1)
    • ECON 230 Economic Statistics (1)
    • ENVS 250 Geographic Information Systems (1)
    • EXHS 256W Research Design and Analysis (1)
    • IDS 138 Introduction to Applied Statistics (1)
    • MATH 138 Statistics (1)
    • PSYC 253 Research Methods & Analysis (1)
    • SOC 331 Applied Quantitative Modeling & Analysis in Social Research (1)
    • SOC 341 Methods of Social Survey Design, Sampling & Data Analysis (1)
  • PHEAL 499W Senior Seminar in Public Health (1)
    (Course substitution, from select contributing departments such as ANTH, and EXHS, requires program approval.)

Part A: Health (2) 

These courses focus sustainability on facets of public health.

Complete two of the following; no more than one from any discipline:

  • ANTH 344 Medical Anthropology (1)
  • BIOL 246 Human Anatomy (1)
  • BIOL 260 Human Physiology (1)
  • ENVS 328 Health & Global Environment (1)
  • ENVS 360 Environmental Health Geography (1)
  • IDS 224 Disease Prevention (1) or EXHS 358: Special Topics in Exercise and Health Science: Disease Prevention (topic dependent) (1)
  • PHEAL 120 Global Health through Film (1)
  • PPLE 318 Death in America (1)
  • SOC 355 Health and Society (1)
  • LW 248 Health Care Law & Policy (1)
  • LW 397 Public Health Law (0.75)

Part B: Public Engagement (1)

These courses emphasize various active modes of public advocacy, communication, leadership, participation, and/or service in the community.

Complete one full credit from the following:

  • CCM 101 Public Speaking (1)
  • CCM 102 Argumentation, Advocacy, and Debate (1)
  • CCM 201 Arguing About the Right Thing to Do (1)
  • CCM 202 Designing Persuasive Campaigns (1)
  • CCM 366 Ethics of Public Argument (1)
  • EXHS 358 Special Topics in Exercise and Health Science: Aging, Health, and Functional Assessment (topic dependent) (1)
  • HIST 202 Public History Practicum: History in the News (.5)
  • HIST 306 History Through Biography (1)
  • IDS 107X Willamette Emergency Medical Service (.25)
  • IDS 180 Pre-Health Career Perspectives (.25)
  • IDS 202 Convocation: Reflecting on Campus, Community and Cosmos (.5)
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program (.5)
  • IDS 214 Food Justice Practicum (1)
  • IDS 215 Willamette Academy Service Learning (.5)
  • IDS 240 Science Communication and Outreach (.5)
  • PPLE 338W Reforming Criminal Justice (1)
  • PSYC 321 Psychology for Sustainability (1)
  • RHET 242 Rhetoric & Leadership (1)
  • BUS 2101 Introduction to Management (1)
  • BUS 2102 Organizations--Design, Management, and Change (1)
  • Any credit-bearing internship with a health-related agency or organization, currently awarded credit through:

Allied Concentrations (2) 

These courses cover various general descriptive and prescriptive disciplinary approaches in the humanities, social sciences, and natural and clinical sciences that enrich a holistic view of public health but do not necessarily address health directly.

Complete two courses from the following categories; no more than one in any category:

Global and Area Studies

  • ANTH 231 Native North American Cultures (1)
  • ANTH 232 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (1)
  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico & Ecuador (1)
  • ANTH 351 Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment (1)
  • ECON 351 Comparative Economic Systems (1)
  • ECON 352 The Economics of Developing Countries (1)
  • IDS 250W Narratives of Migration: From Islamic Spain to the US/Mexico Border (1)
  • INTST 218 Politics in the Developing World (1)
  • INTST 380 Asian Politics & Development (1)
  • SOC 310 Human Rights: Research & Advocacy (1)

Ethics, Inequality, and Social Analysis

  • AES 150 Introduction to American Ethnic Studies (1)
  • ECON 132 Introduction to Economic Inquiry (1)
  • ECON 320 Discourse on Income Inequality (1)
  • ECON 344 The Economics of Race & Gender (1)
  • ENVS 120 Social Systems and the Environment (1)
  • ENVS 304W Politics of Environmental Ethics (1)
  • ENVS 334 Political Ecology (1)
  • ENVS 360 Research in Environmental Health Geography (1)
  • PHIL 235W Philosophical Ethics (1)
  • PPLE 220 Politics & Ethics (1)
  • PPLE 319 U.S. Welfare Policy (1)
  • RHET 362W Telling News: Framing Reality (1)
  • SOC 114 Racism & White Supremacy in the U.S. (1)
  • SOC 121 Gender in Society (1)
  • SOC 131 Sociological Inquiry: Food Justice (topic dependent) (1)
  • SOC 145 Latina/o Sociology (1)
  • SOC 201 Navigating Social Worlds (1)
  • SOC 303 Sociological Theory (1)
  • SOC 358 Special Topics in Sociology: Black Lives Matter (topic dependent) (1)
  • WGS 245 Feminism, Gender, and Society(1)
  • LW 268 Healthcare Law: The Affordable Care Act (0.75)
  • LW 270 Medical Malpractice (0.75)
  • LW 394 Biomedical Research (0.75)
  • LW 3014 Health Care Transactions (0.75)

Clinical Sciences

  • BIOL 120 Introduction to Biologica Inquiry (1)
  • BIOL 453W Research in Behavioral Ecology (1)
  • CHEM 115 General Chemistry I (1)
  • CHEM 116 General Chemistry II (1)
  • CHEM 230 Environmental Chemistry (1)
  • ENVS 381 Research in Spatial Science (1)
  • EXHS 230 The Science of Nutrition (1)
  • EXHS 340 Clinical Healthcare: Theory and Application (1)
  • EXHS 347 Biomechanics (1)
  • IDS 222 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (1)
  • MATH 239 Statistical Learning with R (1)
  • PSYC 252W Research Methods & Analysis I (1)
  • PSYC 310 Clinical Psychology (1)
  • PSYC 337 Diagnosis of "Abnormal" Child and Adolescent Behavior  (1)
  • PSYC 345 BioPsychology (1)

Additional Elective (1)

  • One additional course from any of the Part A: Health, Part B: Public Engagement, or Allied Concentration lists.

Requirements for the Public Health Minor (6 credits)

  • PHEAL 101 Introduction to Public Health
  • PHEAL 301 Public Health Ethics
  • EXHS 221 Epidemiology
  • 1 Part A: Health Elective
  • 1 Part B: Public Engagement Elective
  • 1 Allied Concentration Elective

Indicators of Achievement

Student Learning Outcomes of the Public Health Program

  1. Understand and apply the core philosophical and ethical values, concepts and functions of public health in theory and practice.
  2. Gather, evaluate, and utilize qualitative and quantitative health data for evidence-based and context-specific approaches to public health interventions.
  3. Apply holistic analysis to public health concerns, accounting for behavioral, biological, healthcare, political-regulatory, socio-economic and environmental structures and factors.
  4. Demonstrate effective skills in the oral, written, and digitally-mediated communication of public health information to diverse audiences in order to advocate for, collaborate with, and lead effective change.

Core CAS Faculty

  • Sammy Basu, Professor of History, Humanities, and Public Health
  • Joyce V. Millen, Associate Professor of Anthropology, African Studies and Public Health Ethics, Advocacy and Leadership,

Affiliated CAS Faculty

Affiliated Professional School Faculty

  • Paul A. Diller, Professor of Law, Director of the Certificate Program in Law & Government
  • Bruce F. Howell, Adjunct Professor
  • Tim Johnson, Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis, Director, Center for Governance and Public Policy Research, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty

Course Listings

PHEAL 101 Introduction to Public Health (1)

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of public health. It covers fundamental public health theories, concepts and methods, and emphasizes evidence-based decision-making involving both quantitative data and qualitative narrative. It highlights the social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental conditions and structures that shape the health of populations at local, state, national and global levels. It also explores the myriad career fields and professional roles of public health practitioners. Course balances scholarly readings and current issues with visits from local public health practitioners, advocates, and leaders to discuss their ongoing work. Course required for PHEAL majors but open to all students with interests in health-related studies and work.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: World Engagement: PDE
  • Prerequisite: Closed to seniors
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu, Millen, Staff

PHEAL 120 Global Health through Film (1)

Global Health through Film provides first and second year students a film-centered introduction to an array of complex real-life social issues and health challenges facing our contemporary world. Students will be introduced to a variety of filmic genres and will screen films produced to meet diverse aims by individuals and organizations from five continents. They will explore how communities in different areas of the world meet their basic human needs and how they contend with new challenges to: the spread of chronic and communicable diseases; occupational and environmental health; substance addiction and gun violence; and human health threats caused by climate disruption. Students will analyze these and other health issues by synthesizing, evaluating and applying knowledge from social and biological sciences and the humanities. The course provides a broad and image-packed introduction to the discipline and practice of global health.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Fofana, Millen

PHEAL 199 Topics in Public Health (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Public Health. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

PHEAL 299 Topics in Public Health (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Public Health. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

PHEAL 301 Public Health Ethics (1)

This course focuses on the roles of ethics, advocacy, and leadership in public health theory and practice. What is involved in becoming an ethical public health practitioner? What sorts of ethical criteria and procedural conditions are necessary to ensure the normative rightness of research design, empirical analyses, and programmatic interventions in public health? Given demonstrable inequities in the distribution of health, morbidity, and mortality, how can social justice attentive to underserved and vulnerable populations be advanced through public health? Through case-studies students will practice evidence-based ethical deliberation and advocacy. Intended for HEAL majors, but open to all students with health and justice-related interests.

  • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above; PHEAL 101 recommended
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

PHEAL 399 Topics in Public Health (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Public Health. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

PHEAL 429 Topics in Public Health (.25-1)

A semester-long study of topics in Public Health. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

PHEAL 499W Senior Seminar in Public Health (1)

A writing-centered capstone course in which they exercise and demonstrate their abilities to engage independently and collaboratively in public health theory and practice. Students may meet this requirement through one of four structured options: (1) on-site internship, (2) on-site role-shadowing and service, (3) community-based research or service, or (4) independent research paper. Individual option undertaken to be determined in consultation with PHEAL faculty. All options involve appropriate scholarly literature review, written reflections, draft and final report, peer-editing, and formal presentation of results.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: PHEAL major, 10 courses completed, and junior or senior standing
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Basu

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