Roots of Health Inequity: A Web-Based Course for the Public Health Workforce

Organization that developed training: National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

Description: Roots of Health Inequity is an online learning collaborative and web-based course designed for the public health workforce. The site offers a starting place for those who want to address systemic differences in health and wellness that are actionable, unfair, and unjust. Based on a social justice framework, the course is an introduction to ground public health practitioners in concepts and strategies for taking action in everyday practice.

Each unit provides an in-depth look at a specific topic using various types of learning modalities — interactive maps and timelines, slideshows, geographic story-telling, resource libraries, video presentations, and interviews with practitioners.

Year Launched: 2012

Recommended for: Public Health Foundation-defined Tier 1 Public Health Professionals

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Health and Society

Organization that developed training: HarvardX

Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the major social variables—social class, race, gender, poverty, income distribution, social networks/support, community cohesion, the work and neighborhood environment—that affect population health. The course covers the theoretical underpinnings of each construct (e.g. “race” as a social category), and surveys the empirical research linking each to population health status. Methods are introduced to operationalize each construct for the purposes of empirical application in epidemiological research.

Year Launched: 2013

Recommended for: Public Health Foundation-defined Tier 1 Public Health Professionals

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Community Change in Public Health

Organization that developed training: Johns Hopkins University

Description: In bringing about behavior change in public health, we often focus on the individual mother, student, or farmer. We should not forget the community structure and norms constrain for encouraging individual health behaviors. This course examines the community context of the changes needed to promote the public’s health. We begin by examining the various definitions of ‘community’ and the processes by which we ‘diagnose’ or seek to understand the structure and characteristics of different types of communities. An appreciation of community similarities and differences is necessary lest we fall into the trap of designing one-size-fits-all interventions. We need to recognize that no matter that outsiders may view a community as poor or neglected, we can find strengths and capacities for improvement in each community. Identifying community capacities and resources is the first step in facilitating community change. Different practical and philosophical approaches to change and therefore, examined. Specific to the change process is our recognition of the need for communities to participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of any intervention. We examine the concept of participation in an effort to see how different levels of involvement may affect sustainability of community change efforts. Finally a case study of a community participatory approach to onchocerciasis control in Africa is presented. Community Directed Intervention has subsequently been successfully applied to providing other essential primary health care services by and in the community, such as insecticide treated bednets, malaria treatment, vitamin A distribution, deworming medicines, and pneumonia and diarrhea case management.

Year Launched: 2013

Recommended for: Public Health Foundation-defined Tier 1 Public Health Professionals

Take this training here