Winter Quarter 2003 Syllabus





Joan Bantz, MPA, RHU

LAB I, Room 3011


Willam (Bill) Hagens




4 Credit Hours   ·   Classroom: L3500   ·   Class Sessions: Mondays, 6pm to 9:30pm

I. Program Description:    

By examining the historical, cultural and political context of health and health care we will develop a frame and focus for impacting future health care reform.  Will the U.S. ever enjoy a universal health system?

This framing process will provide an understanding of health policy development within the context of the American political system at the national and state levels. We will focus on timely health care issues (Medicare prescription reform, malpractice reform, etc.) from a political framework and multiple “ism”, (the decline of “American” liberalism is health policy, etc.)

Within the learning community we will challenge the individually and socially derived constructs of privilege versus right; personal political values and those of others; access to what level of care; and - while exploring mind/body/spirit integration.


The goal of this class is to develop an active learning community in which to explore current health care issues, and advocate more effectively for reform. The subject will be explored through a variety of learning formats - lectures, seminars, film, interactive workshops, key guest speakers, etc.

Learning objectives for this course include:



The program is designed as an active/experiential learning community. Much of what will be learned in this course comes from the work we do together as we weave together your research, our discursive process and our guest’s practical knowledge with the readings. Therefore, attendance and engagement are required.  

Credit for the program and a positive evaluation are contingent upon the following:

    1. Attending and participating fully in every class session;
    2. Submitting assignments on time;
    3. Demonstrating progress on learning objectives, as evidenced by classroom and assignment performance.

If something prevents you meeting these expectations, you must inform faculty immediately.

Credit denial decisions are by faculty. Plagiarism (i.e., using other peoples’ work as your own), failing to complete one or more assignments, completing one or more assignments late (without having made arrangements before the due date), or multiple absences may constitute denial of total credit.

In turn, students can expect faculty to be prepared for classes and seminars, to be available for office hours as posted and for scheduled meetings outside of office hours, to respond to telephone or email messages in a timely manner, and to provide timely feedback on assignments.

All students will receive a written evaluation of their academic performance by faculty. Each student is expected to participate in the end of quarter evaluation conference with faculty. For the end of quarter conference, each student is expected to complete and bring to the conference a written self-evaluation – no conference will be conducted without the self-evaluation. Students are also expected to provide a written evaluation of their seminar faculty member. These two evaluations are part of the requirements of the course, are central to the reflection process of your intellectual journey and must be completed to obtain full credit.

In furtherance of our learning community, we expect students and faculty to:

·       Act in accordance with the Evergreen Contract and Student Conduct code.

·       Promote a cooperative, supportive atmosphere within the community; give everyone opportunity for self-reflection and expression.

·       Use high standards in reading the text and preparing our papers, lectures, and comments in seminar.

·       Handle all disputes in a spirit of goodwill.


Both students and faculty agree to discuss any problems involving others in the learning community directly with the individuals involved, with the right to support from other program members during those discussions, if that seems helpful. For example, students must first discuss any problems involving a peer member directly with the person in question; others will refrain from discussing details of any such problem except in the above format. If a solution is not found then faculty should be consulted. 

A successful learning community requires that students attend classes regularly, arrive prepared to discuss the readings in-depth and complete assignments in a timely manner. Please contact faculty in advance if you must be absent from class by e-mail or by phone, more than two absences may result in loss of credit. Written work submitted late will be read only under extraordinary circumstances.


A.          Readings:
1. Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care
George C. Halvorson, George J. Isham
ISBN: 0787968889
Format: Hardcover, 271pp
Pub. Date: April 2003
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated

2. Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century
Committee on Assuring the Health of the, Institutes of Medicine
ISBN: 030908704X
Format: Paperback 509 pages 
Pub. Date: September 2003
Publisher: National Academy Press

Also Suggested:


q      The New York Times  (best health politics “journal”)

q      Seattle Newspaper


Web Access:

q      Seattle PI:

q      Seattle Times:

q      NY Times:

B. Individual Papers

        1.              TAKE HOME EXERCISE:


Will be of the “open book, open notes” type but must be done without consultation with other persons.  The exercise will include questions requiring students to analyze the assigned course and lecture materials up to and including the class.  The exercise will be distributed on  January12 and due on January19.
(10 pages--maximum)

            2.                 POLICY MEMO:

Prepare a brief policy memo to a presidential candidate on what action, if any should be taken on a health policy issue.

3.                 POLICY PROPOSAL:

Details will be provided in class.


C. Major Team Project

Participate in a team project addressing a contemporary health policy issue. Groups will prepare a paper (15 pages--maximum) on March 1st
and make their presentations on March 1st.


Final instructions for the group projects, policy memos, and presentations will be shared following a review of class size, student backgrounds and interests.




The early weeks covering “what one needs to know” will be presented mostly in lecture format with some panels.  The remainder of the course will be participatory covering course materials through exercises, workshops and presentations.  Guest speakers will be included when certain “political expertise” and “personal experiences” are critical to learning.  Students are encouraged to pursue “health politics” learning beyond the classroom and into the various political environments.


Students should be prepared to discuss assigned readings by the dates indicated.  We will try to follow this schedule, but we must also be adaptable.  As a group, we might decide some aspects of the course deserve more time than scheduled.  Also, since politics is not a static subject, developments may occur during the quarter that warrant attention.  Be flexible!







Week 1

Topic: What is Health Care?

1/5 – Framing Health and Health Care

Building a Learning Community

Introductions, Review Syllabus
The Least you Need to Know - Government



No Seminar


Week 2

Topic: “Isms” and Health Policy

1/12 – Framing Health and Health Care


"The Least you Need to Know" - Health Care System

Review Course Project and Group Assignments   



Read and Seminar: Epidemic of Care Chps 1-9

Take Home Exercise

Teams Selected and Focus Submitted


Week 3

1/19 –  HOLIDAY



Week 4

Topic: Political Perspectives

1/26 – Theory and Practice

Political Panel



Read and Seminar: Epidemic of Care Chps 10-18

 DUE: Take Home Exercise


Week 5
Topic: Agency Perspectives

2/2Theory and Practice

Agency Panel



Read and Seminar: Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century

DUE: Team Charters


Week 6

Topic: Advocating for Reform

2/9 – Reading the Community’s Pulse”


Approaching Public Policy Makers - “Lobbying 101.”

Political Leadership


Read and Seminar: Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century

DUE: Policy Briefings Memo


Week 7

2/16 –  HOLIDAY





Week 8

Topic: Bringing

 it all Together

2/23 –


Presentation in Front of Lobbying Committee



DUE: Policy Proposal

No Seminar


Week 9

Topic: Team Project Presentations

3/1 – Presentations 

Team Presentations



DUE: All Papers

No Seminar


Week 10


3/8 –

Wrap UP



No Seminar:

DUE: Faculty and Self Evaluations