Contact Information

Preventive Medicine and Biometrics


Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799

Graduate Education Programs

Masters of Public Health (MPH)

MPH Course Objectives

Upon completion of the MPH program, every student will be able to:

  • Discuss the evolution of the current U.S. health system, including the Military Health System, and explain the effect of medical, fiscal, administrative, legal, social, and political issues on major transitions.
  • Identify the factors that influence the need, demand, and cost of health services, and discuss how these factors have led to rapid growth in U.S. health expenditures.
  • Describe the mechanisms for financing health care organizations, to include reimbursement of professionals and institutions by third-party payers, and assess their relationship to cost containment.
  • Describe the organization of health services in the U.S., addressing types of facilities (hospitals, outpatient clinics, hospital emergency departments, community health centers, surgicenters, urgent care centers) and levels of care (acute, convalescent, extended care, home care).
  • Describe the dimensions of health care quality assessment.
  • Describe the legislative process and how laws are enacted that affect the U.S. health system.
  • Describe the concept of outcomes measurement in health systems and its application to management of a health services organization.
  • Describe available governmental and non-governmental programs for financing, delivering, and assessing health services in America.
  • Discuss the impact of advancing medical technology on the delivery of health care services.
  • Compare international health service systems, and describe the essential differences between the health services systems in industrialized versus developing countries.

MPH Courses by Quarter
 
PMO523 - Fundamentals of U.S. Healthcare Policy (Elective)
Course Director(s): Beverly Thompson
Semester: Winter 2008
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course examines the application of concepts and techniques of advocating or influencing policy on behalf of organizations, the community, and the health services industry. Legislative, executive and judiciary branches and their role in national and state policy will be discussed. Comparisons of the roles and effects of public and private policy will be conducted. The role of interest groups in the policy process, and the concept of political competence at the individual and organizational levels will be examined.
 
PMO524 - Health Care Performance Improvement (Elective)
Course Director(s): Galen Barbour
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
This course will provide students an in-depth view of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. Students will learn the scoring methods used by Baldrige examiners and will apply their skills to a standard case. Lecture and discussion periods will focus on the Core Values, applicability of the business criteria to the health profession, actual impact of the criteria set on quality and profitability in those businesses which have won the Award. This course will provide the student with an understanding of the systems approach to quality improvement and will enable students to use the Baldrige criteria for assessment of health care systems.
 
PMO526 - Health Systems (Concentration)
Course Director(s): Michael Corriere, Patrick Malone
Semester: Fall 2008
Credit Hours: 4 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
This course provides an overview of the organization and function of health services in the U.S., including the pluralistic nature of the systems, the behavioral and economic foundations for understanding its function, major historical and legislative events that have shaped the current system, current research relating to the health system financing and staffing, and current policy issues in regard to the organization of health services. At the completion of this course, students will be able to explain the historical development of American health care and to analyze the factors that effect change in the system.
 
PMO527 - Principles of Healthcare Management (Concentration)
Course Director(s): Michael Corriere
Semester: Winter 200
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
This course provides a survey of health care management principles, including strategic and health systems planning, leadership, resource and information management, performance measurement and improvement, and organizational theory and design.
 
PMO528 - International Health I (Elective)
Course Director(s): Michael Ainscough
Semester: Fall 2008
Credit Hours: 3 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course provides a broad based introduction to the field of international health. The course provides an introduction to major global health issues beginning with trends in disease burden, cultural perspectives, and roles of international public and private agencies. Underlying health issues will also be discussed including reproductive health, nutrition, infectious diseases, HIV AIDS, mental health, and chronic diseases & injury. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of: " a. The major determinants, cultural considerations, and methods for addressing specific global health problems. " b. Political, economic, and socio-cultural factors influencing assessment, intervention, and evaluation processes.
 
PMO529 - Health Care Financial Management (Concentration)
Course Director(s): Walt Tinling
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: PMO526 and PMO527, or Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course introduces students to resource the management concepts that influence an organization's financial performance. Topics include: the government resource environment, the defense resource environment, budgeting and cost analysis, accounting and finance, TRICARE contract financial incentives, and the public healthcare resource environment.
 
PMO534 - Medical Anthropology (Elective)
Course Director(s): Michael Ainscough, Aron Primack
Semester: Winter 2008
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course introduces students to the link between culture and health behaviors (understanding medicine from the patient's point of view) in order to increase understanding between the "healers" and the populations they serve. This understanding will contribute to better compliance and improved health outcomes. At the end of the course, students will be able to characterize barriers to health services produced by cultural differences, evaluate health-seeking behaviors from a cross-cultural perspective, and characterize their own health care system perspectives as they relate to their own culture.
 
PMO535 - The Law of Healthcare (Concentration)
Course Director(s): John Baker
Semester: Winter 2008
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course provides an introduction to the law and the legal process in relation to health care administration, and is designed to provide the student an ability to deal with legal concepts in health care settings. Topics include constraints that law and regulations impose on the health care industry; liability of health care providers; rights of patients; consent issues; and administrative law for health care organizations.
 
PMO537 - Clinical Decision Making (Elective)
Course Director(s): Jeffrey Jackson
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 1 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: Concurrence of Course Director
 
This is an introductory course in the principles of medical decision making. The first part of the course deals with heuristics used by health care providers, probability assessment, and the performance characteristics of diagnostic tests. The second part of the course provides an overview of instruments used in health policy and the decision sciences including: decision trees, patient preference assessment, and cost-effectiveness analysis. For each session there are specially prepared handouts, problems, and in-class exercises based upon the Stanford medical decision making series. The seminar is interactive to encourage understanding, application, and teaching of the concepts.
 
PMO539 - International Health II (Elective)
Course Director(s): Michael Ainscough
Semester: Winter 2008
Credit Hours: 3 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: PMO528 and Concurrence of Course Director
 
This course builds on the information presented in International Health I but is designed to stand alone. It will address: effects of current humanitarian emergencies on families, communities and nations, use of the media and methods of social communication in disease prevention and health promotion; economic issues in developing countries affecting health, and the structure and function of health systems in selected geographic regions. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of major health systems and programs in place throughout the world and their influence on global health.
 
PMO559 - Decision Support in Health Care Performance Improvement (Concentration)
Course Director(s): Galen Barbour, Tres Crawford
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 4 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
This course focuses on developing student's skills and knowledge on how to improve performance in health care systems of any size. The subject matter begins with first level knowledge needed to understand how to make good decision when faced with problems and issues of inefficiency. At the second level, students will learn to uncover information showing the current health care delivery performance status of the system. They will also learn the key attributes of data use and the discipline of which data to use at specific times in performance improvement.
 
PMO591 - Marketing and Strategic Issues for Health Care Organizations (Elective)
Course Director(s): Various Faculty
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: PMO526 and PMO527
 
This course provides an overview of health systems marketing and strategic planning while integrating key concepts and skills derived from other courses within the health services track. Select topics include measuring and understanding consumer behavior, market segmentation and strategic targeting, crafting business case analyses, forecasting demand for care, analysis of the competitive environment, governance, and leveraging your public relations assets. At the completion of this course, students will present - in small teams - a solution to the Regents Health Care System case study used throughout the health services track to a mock "board of directors" for approval.
 
PMO592 - Healthcare Technology Assessment (Concentration)
Course Director(s): Various Faculty
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 2 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
This course provides an introduction to technology assessment as a tool for public policy, evidence-based health administration, and clinical decision-making. There are two modules in this course. The first module introduces medical technology assessment and its role in health systems and evaluates the priorities and strategies of the major initiatives in healthcare technology assessment. This includes an appraisal of the role of government agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; industry entities such as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Technology Evaluation Center; and academic efforts such as the Cochrane Collaboration. The second module introduces the tools of economic evaluation of health services and interventions, to include cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, and cost-benefit analyses; and provides guidance on the presentation and use of economic evaluation results.
 
PMO594 - Introduction to Medical Informatics (Elective)
Course Director(s): Ron Gimbel
Semester: Spring 2009
Credit Hours: 3 Quarter Hours/Graded
Prerequisites: None
 
A foundation course in medical informatics designed primarily for clinicians who practice in the primary care environment and others with an interest. The course provides a broad view of medical informatics and information technology within health systems down to application at the patients' bedside. Topics of special interest within the curriculum include electronic medical records, implications for translation of research into practice, digital libraries and acquiring rapid answers to clinical questions, telemedicine, change management and population health applications. Students are required to complete a medical informatics project during the term.