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Winter 2005, 4 credit course
MPA Health Care Policy

Wednesday 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Sem II, E1105






Office Hours

Joan Bantz 



Lab 1, 3011

Wednesdays 4-6 pm
and by appointmen

Course Description: 

The purpose of this course is to enhance students' abilities to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of health policies and programs and various pathways for participatory citizen reform/action.  Within an active learning community we will examine how special interest groups capture and frame health care rhetoric and reform efforts. We will examine the complex, multi-faceted "(non)system" of health care by exploring historical roots, current policy making and implementation (incrementalism), and political and stakeholders’ perspectives. We will craft multiple perspectives through an exploration of the personal voices of health; multicultural health access; quality barriers; and important alternative/complementary care’s models of mind/body/spirit health integration.

Major health care policy participation and development are identified within the political and institutional contextual framework to provide students an understanding of the tensions between health and health care. As a key component of the environment in which the health care administrator must function, the political processes and health policy roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government will be examined.

Those seeking to advance health care reform will acquire broader perspicacity by exploring agencies, policies, organization, leadership challenges, administration, consumerism and development of public and community health programs. This course seeks to provide practical mechanisms to intervene on behalf of citizens, programs or institutions.

Course Objectives:

Overall, we will seek to integrate theory and practice. Specifically, Students will better understand the challenges in our current health care crisis. This course will enhance students' abilities to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of health policies and programs.  Health and health policy impact our access to health services, the quality of care we receive, what we pay, our wellness and even how long we survive.  Few issues have the personal, social, and economic significance of health policy, and few have so consistently demanded public action.  Specifically we will seek to take action for positive change, e.g., become adept at gauging the political feasibility of proposals, as well as how policy is made and how we might alter or change it.

Upon successful completion of the course the student will:



Barry, Anne-Marie and Chris Yuill

Understanding Health: A Sciological Introduction


Sage Publications, 2003

Mayes, Rick

Universal Coverage: The Elusive Quest for National Health Insurance


UMP, 2004




Minkler,  Meredith

Community Organizing and Community Building for Health


Rutgers University Press, 1999

Performance/Expectation Measurements:
A. Written Work                                                                                          30 percent
B.  Policy Briefing                                                                                         10 percent
C.  Final Group Presentation, Abstract and Bibliography                        30 percent
D. Class Participation                                                                                    30 percent

Description of Performance Measures and Expectations:

Student comprehension of the course material will be demonstrated by class and Seminar participation, written assignments and shared intellectual journals. A team project presentation with detailed abstract and bibliography will be required from selected current community efforts or national health policy areas.

A successful learning community requires that students attend classes regularly, arrive prepared to critically discuss readings and complete timely all assignments. Please contact faculty in advance if you must be absent from class by e-mail or phone. More than one (1) absence may result in loss of credit. Work submitted late will be read only under extraordinary circumstances

A. Reflective Written Assignments         Various dates
The assignments will consist of several different types of writing: