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Introduction to Public Health 

This course will provide an introduction to the primary disciplines of public health including: health policy and management, social and behavioral health, epidemiology, biostatistics and environmental health. Through lecture, case studies and practical projects, students will gain an understanding of the importance and practical application of public health knowledge and how it applies to clinical decision making and strategy. As the basis of population health interventions, public health principles provide a fundamental basis for data informed decision making and the scientific framework for understanding health. Using contemporary examples, students will have the opportunity to better understand and integrate public health principles into their practice regardless of their chosen discipline.

Course Director: Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA
Phone: 317-274-4242
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA
Home campus: Indianapolis
Type of course: Online

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge of principles of epidemiology (MK5).
  2. describe the epidemiology of common diseases affecting populations, including methods for prevention and early detection of disease and systematic, population-based approaches for reducing the incidence and prevalence of disease (MK6).
  3. explain the impact of the variables of psychosocial, socioeconomic, environmental, lifestyle and lifecycle stage on a patient’s health, disease, care-seeking and care-compliance, barriers to care, and attitudes toward care (MK7).
  4. incorporate health promotion and patient education on the basis of the patient’s or population’s needs (PC4).

Course activities:
This course is taught as an online course with an applied project completed individually or in a small group depending on calendar and logistical constraints.

Estimated time distribution: 100% online. Students should be prepared to spend the following estimated time:

  • 27 hours online modules
  • 8 hours reading
  • 8 hours reflection papers, quizzes, final exam
  • 4-8 hours applied project

Assessments: Assessments will include participation (20%); case studies (20%); a final exam (20%) and an applied project (40%). Faculty will use the Professional Development Evaluation Form

Prerequisites: None
Interprofessional collaboration: No

Lifestyle Medicine

Lifestyle choices around physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and social support are major factors contributing to health outcomes. Improvements in these behaviors can prevent or reverse some chronic diseases resulting in reduced health care costs and improved community health. This elective provides a foundation for working with an interprofessional team to implement lifestyle changes in community based medicine. During the course of three weeks, students will:

  1. participate in comprehensive physical fitness testing/assessment of a patient or themselves in the Clinical Exercise Physiology Lab;
  2. develop comprehensive lifestyle modification prescriptions based upon testing results;
  3. work with an interprofessional team in Healthy Lifestyle Centers (HLC) in local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) primary care clinic to improve health outcomes;
  4. develop an abbreviated proposal aimed at either improving access to primary care or infusing lifestyle medicine into the primary care environment.

Course Director: Larry Fromm
Phone: (765) 751-5111
Primary contact for Adds/Drops: Larry Fromm;
Home campus: Muncie
Type of course: On-site

Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, a student will:

  1. be able to develop a comprehensive lifestyle modification plan in collaboration
    with an interprofessional team to meet individualized patient needs and goals
    (PC4, SBP1, SBP2).
  2. be able to identify barriers to primary care and identify potential mechanisms
    to overcome them (SBP2).
  3. be able to identify novel methods to integrate lifestyle medicine into the
    primary care environment (SBP2, PC4).

Course activities:
Students will spend three weeks between the host campus and community partners learning about lifestyle modifications and implementation in the primary care environment. During the first week students will participate in a comprehensive health screening and physical fitness testing at the Clinical Exercise Physiology Program at Ball State University. Results from testing will be used to develop an individualized lifestyle modification plan including diet and exercise prescription (20 hours/week). For the remaining weeks, students will work as part of an interprofessional team in the Healthy Lifestyle Centers (HLCs) where similar lifestyle modification programs are developed for patients (20 hours/week in clinic - 4 hours/week in conference). At the conclusion, students will develop a short research or programming proposal aimed at either improving access to primary care or infusion of lifestyle medicine into the primary care environment. This proposal can be used as the basis for future scholarly concentration research.

Time distribution: 50% clinical; 25% laboratory or scholarly research; 25% library/research 20 – 24 hours/week for 4 weeks, plus time to develop proposal

Evaluation of written Clinical Exercise Physiology Assessment of patient or self - 25%
Health Lifestyle Center Implementation Plans and Reflection - 50%
Lifestyle Medicine Research/Program Proposal - 25%

Prerequisites: Scholarly Concentration enrollment
Interprofessional collaboration: Students will work with a team including audiologists, counselors, dieticians, exercise scientists, nurses and more in the Healthy Lifestyle Centers.