235903 Society, justice and health: A student-initiated course

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wellington Davies, MBA , Global Public Health Program, New York University, New York, NY
Ameth Aguirre, MD , Global Public Health Program, New York University, New York, NY
Jean Bae, JD , Global Public Health Program, New York University, New York, NY
Katie-Sue Derejko, MA , Global Public Health Program, New York University, New York, NY
What does health justice require? Does it require economic equality? Does it require extensive social connectedness? Does it require more citizen participation in the political process? Does it even require a certain type of citizen informed and morally engaged? To answer these questions one needs to examine literature concerning economic development, democratic theory, the social determinants of population health, and philosophical literature on population health ethics. This graduate student-led, faculty advised reading group will approach this complex task with the help of insights gained in core MPH courses, supplementary coursework in graduate microeconomics, and an interdisciplinary course reading list of significant breadth. A close inspection of syllabi of other graduate courses with similar objectives reveals several recurrent themes. Some seek more disciplinary depth, often through greater engagement with primary source material in political philosophy. Others strive for less depth and a broader scope, perhaps including bioethical issues. A small contingent stresses service learning, usually at the expense of a critical examination of the moral underpinnings of this collective action. In contrast, this course aims for a broad survey of political philosophy and the social sciences, especially economics, while using praxis as an essential learning tool. As we analyze historical and current accounts of policy agenda setting, institutional reform, and social action we will seek constant engagement with an overarching question of what is the role of global health professionals in implementing health justice.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) identify what is required to reduce structural disadvantage that may contribute to health inequities; 2) discuss health system reform and community development in the context of justice, fairness and allocating scarce resources in improving health status; and 3) define a role for the global public health professional as an active participant in reducing the social gradient in health

Keywords: Public Health Education, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have academic and practical training in business finance and an interest in the history of economic thought. I am a first-year MPH student and principal investigator for this topic.
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.