380.635.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 4th Term | 3 Credit(s)
F 9:00:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    M. Christopher Gibbons
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Compare and contrast urban, community and population health. Discuss the defining characteristics of each and how they differ from rural communities or populations.
    • Outline the major health impacting characteristics of contemporary urban living in the US.
    • Discuss the relative importance/impact of these characteristics on the health of urban populations.
    • Discuss how urban health is evaluated and monitored. Outline the tools, strengths and weaknesses of this approach.
    • Outline the critical components needed to improve urban health and articulate a strategy for improving the health of East Baltimore.
    • Articulate major research gaps and opportunities in the field of Urban Health.
  • Course Description

    Health in the urban environment occurs within a dynamic context. Both positive and negative determinants of urban health exist at multiple levels, interact in complex ways over the lifespan, are variably distributed in the urban environment and exert differential impacts on urban population health.  The practitioners of urban health are found across multiple professional disciplines while individuals living in urban centers often live under challenging circumstances and in challenging environments resulting in increased reliance on informal caregivers.  As such, categorical or one-dimensional health improvement strategies when successful result in healthier people living in sick environments or improved environments populated by unhealthy people. Optimizing the health of urban populations requires integrated, participatory, strategies and comprehensive policies. To date while multiple urban health research courses exist, this course is focused on the applied science of improving the health of urban populations through data driven practice and policy.

    A comprehensive assessment of health in the urban environment suggests the existence of at least four pillars of urban health. These include Socio-behavioral determinants of health, clinical/medical determinants of health, environmental determinants of health and economic determinants of health. These pillars when undergirded by comprehensive policies provide the foundation and supports for optimal population health in the urban environment. . This course will introduce students to the critical concepts, complexities, methods, challenges and controversies regarding the health of urban populations in the United States.  The course is designed to foster and encourage the critical appraisal of these issues to provide a firm foundation for the development of evidence based research and interventions to address these issues and enhance the health among domestic urban populations. 

  • Intended Audience
    MPH, doctoral, medical, and nursing students, and postdoctoral fellows
  • Methods of Assessment

    Student presentation, in class and practical assignments, final assessment and class participation

  • 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.

  • Grading Policy

    The final grade will be computed as follows: 

    1) In class written assignments (30%)

    2) Practical Assignments (30%)

    3) evidence of critical appraisal and reflection (15%)

    4) Final assessment (25%)

  • Attendance Policy

    Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Your participation grade is dependant on it. In class assignments and Practical Assignments will be available on the course pluss after each class. Students planning to mis a class will need to arrange a time to come to the instructors office and complete the in class assignment priuor to the date f the class.  These assignments can not be completed after the missed class.

  • Use of cell phones and laptops during class

    Use of laptops to complete in class assignments is encouraged.

  • Use of TurnItIn

    All manuscripts will be checked for plagiarism by Turnitin.

  • 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