KIN 168: Introduction to Public Health

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2019
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter, Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Public Health. Students will gain an understanding of the basic concepts and terminologies of public health, and the history and accomplishments of public health officials and agencies. An overview of the functions of various public health professions and institutions, and an in-depth examination of the core public health disciplines is covered. Topics of the discipline include the epidemiology of infectious and chronic disease; prevention and control of diseases in the community including the analysis of the social determinants of health and strategies for eliminating disease, illness and health disparities among various populations; community organizing and health promotion programming; environmental health and safety; global health; and healthcare policy and management. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Identify the basic service and program elements in the continuum of health care.
  • Identify skills and competencies required for various health administration jobs.
  • Understand the roles of health promotion, health protection, population health, and epidemiology in public health.
  • Describe key interventions used to improve public health.
  • Define important foundational concepts in community/public health. Identify different public health disciplines, professions and organizations, and explain how each contributes to the field of public health.
  • Describe the historical development of public health including the most important achievements of public health.
  • Distinguish the difference between personal and public health. Distinguish how public health differs from the traditional Western medicine approach to treating disease and illness.
  • Demonstrate the use of basic epidemiological methods, such as the analysis of rates, and the definition of cases, population at risk, risk factors, incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Outline strategies for prevention, detection and control of infectious and chronic disease.
  • Outline the process of community organizing, building and health promotion programming.
  • Describe the interplay between health determinants, such as environmental conditions, social, behavioral and cultural factors, and biological considerations, and explain the role of each in determining local, national and global health organization and policy.
  • Analyze current public health issues and describe how they affect societal well-being among specific populations of age, sex, ethnicity, minority, education and socioeconomic status.
  • Describe the organization, financing and delivery of various medical and population-based services in the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Identify, assess and utilize credible information resources on community health current issues, such as the Internet, social media, media outlets, and libraries.

Major Course Content

  1. What is Public Health
    1. Public Health: Science, Politics and Prevention
    2. Why is Public Health Controversial?
    3. Powers and Responsibilities 
    4. Distinction between personal and public health  History and          accomplishments of public health officials and agencies  
    5. Core functions of public health professions and institutions
  2. Analytical Methods of Public Health
    1. Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health
    2. Epidemiologic Principles and Methods
    3. Problems and Limits of Epidemiology
    4. Statistics: Making Sense of Uncertainty
    5. Role of Data Management in Public Health
  3. Biomedical Basis of Public Health
    1. The "Conquest" of Infectious Diseases
    2. The Resurgence of Infectious Diseases
    3. The Biomedical Basis of Chronic Disease  
    4. Genetic Diseases and other Inborn Errors
  4. Social and Behavioral Factors in Health
    1. Do People Choose Their Own Health?
    2. How Psychosocial Factors Affect Health Behavior
    3. Public Health Enemy Number One: Tobacco
    4. Public Health Enemy Number Two: Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity
    5. Injuries are not Accidents
    6. Maternal and Child Health as a Social Problem
    7. Mental Health: Public Health Includes Healthy Minds
    8. Health inequities among ethnic and minority groups
    9. Education and socioeconomic status and health 
  5. Environment Issues in Public Health
    1. A Clean Environment: The Basis of Public Health
    2. Clean Air: Is It Safe to Breathe?
    3. Clean Water: A Limited Resource
    4. Solid and Hazardous Wastes: What to Do with the Garbage?
    5. Safe Food and Drugs: An Ongoing Regulatory Battle
    6. Population: The Ultimate Environmental Health Issue
  6. Medical Care and Public Health
    1. Is the Medical Care System a Public Health Issue?
    2. Why the US Medical System Needs Reform
    3. Health Services Research: Finding What Works
    4. Public Health and the Aging Population
  7. The Future of Public Health
    1. Emergency Preparedness, Post 9/11
    2. Public Health in the Twenty-First Century-Achievements and Challenges

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Websites: American College of Healthcare Executives- Careers in healthcare:
iHireHealthCareAdministration-Health care employment opportunities: American Health Care Association-Advocating quality in long term care:
America's Health Insurance Plans-AHIP career source:
American Academy of Physician Assistants-Information about PAs and the PA profession
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Health Services Managers
Journals: Coverage: America's Health Insurance Plans-Health Care News, Views, Trends, and Insights
Hospitals and Health Networks
Journal of Health Care Management
Healthcare Executive
Frontiers of Health Services Management

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Research Paper The research paper is 4-6 pages in length, with cited references from at least 5 resources, MLA format, that is on a health issue: I. Describes and identifies a public health issue A. Defining or describing the issue B. Using current data to describe the extent of the issue C. Describing content for this area (geography, population, etc) D. Describing key questions or problems this issue relates to, addresses, or helps increase the understanding of health issue II. Describes the evidence related to current knowledge of the causes of this issue A. Summarizing scholarly literature related to causes of health issue B. Summarizing grey literature related to causes of health issue C. Identifying how this issue relates to other health issues D. Identifying how this health issue changes over time; how its causes change over time III. Describes the evidence related to current knowledge for interventions focused on this health issue A. Summarizing scholarly and grey literature describing examples of interventions which effectively address this health issue B. Identifying key success factors for addressing this health issue C. Creating recommendations to guide anyone wishing to work on this health issue

Examples of Outside Assignments

Report/Interview: Interview a health care administrative practitioner or a professional association representative. Write a report on the interview. A sample interview question form will be given for a template of questions to ask the health care professional. It will be 2-4 pages in length, MLA format.
Documentary/television show Critique: Watch a documentary or television show that relates to health care administration and discuss the points below. A list of documentaries/ television shows will be provided, but with approval you may select others. 1. Identify the basic service and program elements in the continuum of health care 2. Define the major health care professions and the role of health care administrators within them 3. Identify the skills and competencies required for various health administration jobs

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture