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Course Description

Access to health care and other resources, such as nutritious foods, employment, clean water, safe housing, education, etc. are crucial to maintaining health and well-being. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to these essential means for survival, however, it is all too apparent that this is not the case for many communities and populations around the world. It is desirable, therefore, for those groups who are not supported by a formal health care system to seek alternative solutions for the resources they lack. Using case studies and other readings, along with group discussion, this course will explore the global, social, political, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to poor health. It will also look at methods for empowering communities who lack access to health care to create practical solutions that are relevant to their unique situations. Community-Based Participatory Research will be one of the key strategies dealt with in this course due to its focus on promoting change at the grass roots level.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify micro and macro level factors that affect health and well-being.
  • Collaborate with communities to evaluate their needs in regard to health and cultivate ideas for appropriate actions to address those needs.
  • Provide support for community-based solutions to health issues by establishing connections to information and resources.

Feedback from previous course participants

“Each week built on the week before seamlessly and I enjoyed the final week pulling it all together into a project. It made me think a lot about the connections between public health and the health of a community, and how, as an artist, I can create an entry point to community health development through the arts.”

“This class not only introduced me to the subject of community development but it challenged some of the thinking that I was doing in my current work. Doing international medical work, I approached it from the angle of “What can we do for them?” while knowing that our short stints in the variety of countries I’ve worked in really didn’t do any sustainable good. This class opened my eyes to see that the answer is not just to shrug and say “That’s just the way it is” but, instead, to work with the communities so that they can provide for themselves the care that they need. A real shift in my thinking and one that will pay dividends down the road.”

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Learn more about the VE/CSU Online Certificate Program