197858 A new health curriculum: Social determinants of health and advocacy model

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:00 AM

Elizabeth Mogford, PhD, MPH , Sociology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
C. Linn Gould, MS, MPH , Just Health Action, Seattle, WA
Just Health Action (JHA), a non profit organization based in Seattle, has developed an exciting alternative health education curriculum that teaches students to take action on the root causes health inequities. Moving beyond educating about individual behavior change, this approach provides students tools to advocate for reducing health disparities that result from social, political, economic, and cultural factors (the social determinants of health). Importantly, we not only teach about the “upstream” causes of health disparities, we teach tools to promote “upstream” solutions.

JHA's health action framework has four major components: 1. Knowledge: teaching the underlying causes of health disparities using a social determinants of health model; 2. Compass: conducting multiple activities to assist students in identifying health issues they want to take action on; 3. Toolkit: teaching students specific strategies to be an effective advocate to reduce health disparities; 4. Action: reaching consensus on how to take culturally appropriate, relevant action in a community and implementing the action.

In this presentation, we will present our health model and provide three case studies of its application in schools at different education levels: a junior-high, a high school, and a university. In addition, we will present our process and impact evaluation of these cases and discuss the challenges and successes of our curriculum to date.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate differences between individual level (behavior change) and population level health promotion actions and activities. 2. Describe three advocacy tools that can assist students to see themselves as engaged citizens producing health communities.

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor and I have been teaching the curriculum for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.