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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Aaron Katz
HSERV 552
Seattle Campus

Health Policy Development

Uses primarily case- and problem-based learning and small-group projects to focus on factors that influence public policy development concerning health services in the U.S., with some global health content. Examines the roles of science and stakeholder interests in the structure of and changes to a nation's health system. Offered: A.

Class description

Health Policy refers to decisions that guide organizational and individual behaviors affecting health and the financing, delivery, and use of health services. This course focuses on how public policy around medical care and public health is developed and by whom, and the relationship between these public decisions and the workings of the economic market place.

In this class, we will explore the complex array of factors that affect public policy by studying contemporary health policy issues. We will examine how science and community values intertwine in health policy development, how context (e.g., ideology, culture, and history) influence the structure of and changes to a nation’s health system, and how international treaties and relationships can affect health and health services. We will also discuss the important relationship between how a society measures success, its public policies, and how it allocates and distributes resources.

You will learn about health policy development in this class through a combination of methods, including case studies, problem based learning (PBL), small and large group discussions, group projects, role plays, and written and oral presentations … your learning will be largely through processes of self-discovery. This course includes very few traditional lectures.

Student learning goals

1. Identify and discuss the context of a public policy issue

2. Identify and discuss the context of a public policy issue

3. Identify the tools of public policy and analyze options for using them to address specific public policy issues

4. Understand and discuss the important roles of science and values in choosing a course of public policy action

5. Identify and analyze appropriate measures of success or failure of a public policy action

6. Present concise analyses of public policy issues both orally and in writing.

General method of instruction

See class description

Recommended preparation

For 2nd year graduate students only.

Class assignments and grading

Two individual policy papers, one major group paper and oral presentation, various informal assignments

Each student is expected to: • read each week’s readings prior to the first session of that week; • participate actively in small and large group discussions; • participate actively in one group oral presentation; and • write 2 individual papers and 1 group paper as follows (all papers are to be submitted by 12:00 noon on the due date):

#1 Individual paper, 1 page, due October 1, 2008 #2 Individual paper: 5 pages, due October 29, 2008 #3 Group paper: 12 pages, due December 5, 2008


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Aaron Katz
Date: 07/17/2008