IHP Health and Community: Globalization, Culture, and Care (Spring 1)

"This program gave us so much, from academic knowledge of global and local systems that influence health and community to a human understanding of challenges and triumphs experienced every day in places very different from our home."

-- Jack Beck
Boston University

Investigate how communities can ensure the health and well-being of all citizens amid mounting challenges created by changing economic, environmental, and social forces.

What are the forces that create good public health in some communities, and ill health in others? Why have health disparities within and across countries widened, even as modern healthcare has discovered the causes of many illnesses and prevented many deaths? The Health and Community program strengthens students' ability to understand, interpret and compare the biological, ecological, economic, political, and socio-cultural factors that affect human health.  Students broaden their global perspective and deepen their skills in critical and comparative thinking, while gaining practical knowledge about:

  • The health impacts of globalization
  • Comparative health systems
  • Governance and policymaking
  • Public health issues and innovative strategies to address them
  • Field-based research methods and analysis.

From Southeast Asia to South Africa, in city neighborhoods and rural villages, students learn to listen to and understand multiple voices: people in local communities, governing bodies, and non-governmental agencies.

Future healthcare leaders come away with the confidence to ask important questions, analyze alternatives, and set priorities for achieving sustainable and just solutions.

Key Questions:

  • Is health a fundamental human right? If so, who is responsible for guaranteeing it?
  • How can a deeper understanding of culture transform our view of health?
  • What can be done about the health divide - between rich and poor, urban and rural - that exists in many countries?
  • How do grassroots activism and top-down approaches conflict with or complement one another?

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Credits: 16

Duration: Spring, 16 weeks

Program Sites:
United States, India, South Africa, Brazil

Prerequisites: None. Coursework in public health, anthropology, biology, or related field recommended.

Student Evaluations

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Spring 2013 Evaluations


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