301.645.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 4th Term | 3 Credit(s)
Th 5:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Josh Horwitz
  • Course Learning Objectives

    After completing this course, you should be able to:

    • Assess a public health problem and determine tactically when to solve the problem with policy strategies versus behavioral education
    • Analyze the legislative, administrative and judicial intervention points for policymaking and identify where to effectively target advocacy efforts
    • Identify and evaluate advocacy strategies, such as coalitions, grassroots, and paid and earned media outreach, in order to create specific advocacy campaigns
    • Dissect policy-oriented communications and develop personal skills to effectively translate and advocate for public health improvements to policymakers, the press and the public
  • Course Description
    Prepares health professionals, (from government health officials, business leaders, non-profit organization representatives to scientists) to advance public health policy improvements. Through lectures, extensive group exercises and a "mock" congressional hearing, students develop the skills to evaluate the policymaking process, create opportunities to inform and influence policymaking, and become more effective in translating and communicating in a policymaking environment.
  • Intended Audience
    masters and doctoral students intersted in advocacy in the public health arena
  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation is based on three writing assignments and class participation.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Student Evaluation: Introduction to Health Advocacy can be taken for a letter grade or Pass/Fail. The grade for the course is based on class attendance and participation, three writing assignments and participation in a mock legislative hearing (oral presentation). A brief description of each assignment and the related percentages are provided below. Assignment instructions will be distributed in class. Due dates for each assignment are listed in the syllabus. Points will be deducted for late assignments.


    Class Attendance and Participation 20%

    Students are expected to attend each class and come prepared to listen, think, and participate in discussions.


    Assignment 1 – Advocacy Campaign 20%

    Each student is to identify a public health problem and then outline an advocacy campaign with long-term, intermediate, and short-term policy goals for remedying that public health problem. Your campaign can be waged on the international, national, state, or local level.


    Assignment 2 – Letter to the Editor (LTE) 20%

    Each student will write a letter to the editor in response to one of two- to three selected newspaper articles on a public health topic.


    Final Assignment – Mock Hearing on Public Health Funding 40%

    There are two parts to the final assignment.

    1. Oral Testimony for Mock Hearing (20%) Each student will be given three (3) minutes to present oral testimony in a mock hearing advocating for public health funding.  Each student will choose a topic from a variety of issues to be distributed in class.


    2. Written Testimony (20%) Each student will submit written testimony related to the call for funding made in your oral testimony not to exceed three (3) double-spaced pages.

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    There is no textbook for this class. Required readings are available via Courseplus and eReserves.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    Welcome to Health Advocacy.  Our class will meet in the Becton-Dickinson Auditorium (Wolfe St. Building W1020) from 5:30 to 8:00.

  • Teaching Assistants

    Lead TA: Desmond D. Flagg, MPH (

    Co-TA: Cass Kercher, MPH (

    Co-TA: Patti Truant, MPH (

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at